Richard Parkes recovering from stroke

Published: March 31, 2004

Richard Parkes, Pipe-Major of the former World Champion Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band of Belfast, suffered a stroke on Monday, March 8, and is recovering in hospital.

Although details of Parkes’s condition are not yet known, early signs, according to a band spokesman, are positive. Parkes apparently complained on Monday of feeling unwell before the stroke occurred.

In a statement from the band, Field Marshal Montgomery business manager Doug Elliott said, “Following his recent return from a weekend visit to the United States Midwest with Leading Drummer Keith Orr, our Pipe-Major, Richard Parkes, was taken ill on his return to Northern Ireland. Richard was immediately admitted to hospital where he has since been taking rest, and undergoing a series of medical tests.

“We are pleased to confirm that Richard is already showing signs of recovery.

“Both Richard and [his wife] Ruth have asked that we convey their heartfelt thanks for the overwhelming support that they have received from friends and colleagues around the world, for the messages of encouragement, and the warm wishes for Richard’s full and speedy recovery.

“We ourselves wish to add our own personal thanks and sincere
appreciation for all of the messages of support which we have received on Richard’s behalf.”

Richard Parkes is in his early forties and has established himself as one of the pre-eminent leaders in the pipe band world. He has traveled extensively with the band and as a soloist, teacher, and adjudicator. Aside from winning over a dozen major championships, he is a two-time winner of the jig competition at the Northern Meeting at Inverness.

Field Marshal Montgomery are the reigning RSPBA Grade 1 Champion of Champions, and finished second at this year’s World Pipe Band Championships.

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