Terry Kirk, aka “Parky”

18th May 1939 – 12th August 2020

This picture library is dedicated to Terry Kirk, affectionately remembered as “Parky” owing to his resemblance to Michael Parkinson. When Phil Thompson joined us from Charlton Park in 1970 Terry, a colleague from the Financial Times, came with him. Phil later returned to CP but to our good fortune Terry saw his future with Darts, having enjoyed the rugby and social side in equal measure. His prowess as a photographer soon became evident and this library will contain many of his great pictures, mostly taken before he took up his duties as First XV touch judge.

Although Terry never played rugby himself his scrupulous honesty and fairness were highly respected by players and referees. Most visiting refs looked forward to enjoying a beer and a chat with Terry post match for 2 reasons. His golden rule was never to discuss the ref’s performance, good, bad or indifferent and they didn’t have to pay for their drinks which were usually served in the special tankard, instituted by Terry, engraved “To ‘im in charge, no charge”.

After leaving school Terry joined Photo News where he was able to enjoy his love of photography, learning his trade from the bottom upwards. He went on to join Sport and General, meeting famous people in the world of sport and beyond. Terry loved boxing and met many of his heroes; Sugar Ray Robinson and Henry Cooper to name but two.

After he and his friend ventured into their own agency the pair decided they would much rather be in the outside world. So after the partnership was dissolved Terry joined The Financial Times as a freelance photographer.

Terry stayed at the FT and over twenty five years later had risen to Deputy Picture Editor. During his time at the FT he travelled extensively and met a vast amount of people from Prime Ministers to the ordinary person in the street, always with his camera bag slung over his shoulder. One of his favourite jobs was covering the party conferences, especially the TUC at Blackpool. It was a chance to catch up with his photographer friends from the Northem newspapers.

He was very proud to be given the honour of Freeman of the City of London but unfortunately never managed to lead his sheep across London Bridge.

In the 1970’s he joined Dartfordians RFC still taking pictures and enjoying his love of sport. He then became more involved with rugby.

Terry was our First XV touch judge for many years and finally hung up his flag in 2006. He helped out over the years with fixtures, matches, referees and finally with mini and junior rugby. He especially enjoyed the festivals he helped to organise as well as the school tournaments.

Terry became a committee member of the Kent Metropolitan leagues being its treasurer up until a couple of years ago when he retired due to ill health. When his daughter Terri and son Matthew were born it was only a matter of time before they too had the rugby bug. Terri helped out with running the sweet and kit shop and Matthew played up to the age of 18 when university called. He was a very proud father. Even though confined to a wheelchair he continued to help in keeping the club’s history up-to-date, thanks in no small measure to his wife Janice’s unstinting support helping to maintain his quality of life.

His club honours include being voted Clubman of the year and Life Vice-President. Terry suffered a major stroke in 2006 but still managed to have a reasonably good quality of life. He still watched his rugby at the club most Saturdays. His daughter Terri took him to Twickenham many times to see the Six Nations and Internationals, always with a front row seat.

Sadly Terry passed away on the 12th August 2020. We were lucky to have him so long and his legacy remains in this picture library. Thanks mate.

Help us expand the archive

Welcome to the new Dartfordians RFC photo library, dedicated to Terry Kirk. To help enhance the memory banks please send in your photos and text and they will be added to the site for all to see.