The recent passing of a local darts figure has touched many involved with the sport.
The majority have known the man for a number of years.
Late last month Phillip Parsons passed away from a heart attack. The 46 year old North Sider was the Vice President of the Cayman Darts Association.
Parsons was buried over the weekend and a few Fridays beforehand a memorial gathering was held at Corner Pocket to honour Phillip’s memory.
The gathering was a time for dart throwing and reminiscing about the person that Phillip was.
Among those that were there and expressed their connection to Phillip was Arthur Ebanks.
Ebanks is the current President of the association and a notable West Bayer.
For him it was particularly tough knowing that Phillip is gone as their friendship dates back to the days of their youth.
‘Phillip and I were school friends. I met him in high school and he never changed to me. He helped me in many ways when it came to understanding and dealing with people.
‘I’ll never forget the kind of person he was. He touched so many people’s lives. In fact he would help people and didn’t expect anything in return.’
It’s also a tough loss for the sport, as Ebanks says, because his enthusiasm will be missed.
‘The camaraderie he brought was great. When he had to get serious he did but he did so in a joking manner to bring out the best in team-mates.
‘I found working with him that he had many good qualities and he was a great person. We started out in the sport together, played together and were elected together in 2006.
‘What I liked the most about him was he was a driving force behind obtaining the results we had last time at the Caribbean Championship.
‘How we planned that trip to Trinidad, the fact that we got a Caribbean champion in Edsell Haylock and the team’s solid performance will always stand out to me.’
Parsons played an active role in raising the profile of darts in Cayman. Between giving donations to charities like the Hospice Care to regularly recruiting players, Parsons did much to grow the sport.
That fact is not lost on Ebanks.
‘It’s fair to say he united the players and increased the numbers within the association. He solicited players to get involved and all in all he loved darts with a passion.’
One of the players who knew Parsons’ work first-hand was Cliff Weeks. A noted motorsports fan, Weeks has competed in numerous tournaments with Parsons and saw him as a man with the sport’s best interest at heart.
‘He was sincere and honest and was not biased at all. He was all for positive growth. All that mattered to him was getting tournaments going and growing the sport. He always wanted to play the best and have the rest of us play at our best.’
Weeks, who has been in Cayman for close to two decades, states he knew Parsons long before darts.
‘I knew him personally as a friend, long before darts. He was someone who spoke positive things. I got to know him really well from when he worked with AL Thompson’s some 12 odd years ago.’
Another man who has known Parsons for some time is Martin Bodden. A noted policeman and dominoes aficionado, Bodden dates his bond to Phillip back over 30 years.
‘I went school with him and graduated with him in 1980. I knew him for a long time and he was a good friend of my father who he worked with at AL Thompson.
‘I was upset at Phillip’s passing but my father was totally devastated at the news. I’m so happy I was associated with him.
‘He was such a straight shooter. He would love you to death but if he had something to say to you he would go and tell it to you straight. And somehow he’d say it with a smile.’
Bodden went on to say Phillip would stand out in the sport due to his all-out competitiveness.
‘When he first started playing he just kept improving. I won a championship some years ago but Phillip was one of those guys I had to play my best against. There was no time for complacency with him.
‘He’ll always be a dear friend to me and I’ll always remember him.’
Ultimately Arthur Ebanks intends for Parsons to be forever linked with the sport.
‘He was a loving, caring, respectable human being. The association will try its best to ensure his name and memory lives on.
‘He initiated a lot of ideas and goals and we hope to bring them to fruition. I personally will make sure his legacy is remembered.’