Trefonen, near Oswestry born right half Maurice Parry began his football career playing for Newtown in 1894 and Oswestry Town in 1895, before having a trial with Nottingham Forest in September 1897. When not taken on he joined East Midlands club Long Eaton Rangers and from there he was signed by Second Division Leicester Fosse in August 1898, making his Football League debut, and his only appearance for The Fossils at Woolwich Arsenal that September. The following February he joined Loughborough and played 12 times in the run in to their 17th place finish.
In the 1899 close season he joined Brighton United, spending 1899-1900 on the South coast before being signed by Liverpool in July 1900. In his maiden season they won the League Championship (for the first time in the club’s history, Parry making 8 appearances during the campaign. He was first capped for Wales in a 1-1 draw against Scotland at Wrexham in March 1901, with the Welsh goal being scored by his brother Thomas, and in all he went on to win 16 caps for Wales over the next 8 years, all awarded during his time at Anfield.
He broke into the Liverpool team as a first team regular at the end of March 1902, and although he didn’t play enough games to qualify for a Championship medal in his first season at Anfield he made up for that later in the decade when Liverpool won the Second and First Division in successive seasons, 1904-05 and 1905-06.
“He is apt to grow over-enthusiastic, the fault of his Celtic temperament I suppose, but is often unfairly penalised.” was so described by joint Everton/Liverpool programme in 1904. Parry was a very clever player who “could twist and turn and tie the opposing forward in a tangle and then steal the ball from his toe.” He scored 3 times in 222 appearances during his nine years at Anfield and eventually moved to Partick Thistle at the end of the 1908-09 season soon followed by his old Liverpool teammate Alex Raisbeck. He returned a year later to play for Wrexham briefly, before heading to South Africa. Parry played and coached in South Africa for a while in 191o-1913 and also played for non league Oswestry United in 1913.
While serving as a Second Lieutenant in the South Wales Borderers during the First World War he proved a popular figure as reported by one crew member who was on the ship that transported Parry to the Greek island of Lemnos in September 1915. “Of course, he was a person of no small importance in the eyes of our crew, who are all Liverpool men. He was the life and soul of the party, and it was always he who started the music and singing. In an impromptu concert held on the last night the cry was always ‘Parry.’” But he was badly gassed in the War, and suffered the effects for many years, eventually fatally.
After the War he took up the managerial post at Rotherham County in October 1921, staying at Millmoor until the summer of 1923, leaving after their relegation from the Second Division. He later held coaching positions at Barcelona, Eintracht Frankfurt, Cologne and in the Channel Islands. The organ-playing tee-totaller also returned to Liverpool many years after he had left as a player to bring his coaching skills to the club where he played the majority of his professional career. Having suffered from long-term effects of wartime gassing he died of chronic bronchitis on 24th March 1935.
His brother Thomas Parry played for Oswestry Town and represented Wales on 7 occasions, 4 of which were matches Maurice also played in, scoring 3 goals for his country. His son, Frank, was also a professional footballer in the 1920’s and made over 100 appearances in the Football League for Everton, Accrington Stanley, Grimsby Town and Nelson.