PARNELL REILLY was rated among the hardest-working PGA captains and stepped down with a shower of plaudits for his efforts during his two years in the role.
The head professional at Bradley Park earned widespread praise for his unstinting efforts in representing the association both at home and abroad and was presented with a silver cutlery box as a parting gift by his successor Jim Farmer, from St Andrews.
Among the highlights of his captaincy, Reilly, 60, attended all the majors and PGA finals both nationally and across its seven regions and last year made a week-long helicopter tour of Wales taking the Ryder Cup trophy to more than 100 golf clubs.
Farmer said: “Parnell’s commitment to the captain’s role has been outstanding, whether up in a helicopter, out on the golf course or attending events around the world.
“At all times his integrity and warmth has shone through and he should be very proud of the last two years.”
Reilly, who began his career as a 14-year-old caddy at Fixby, trained in Leeds and Lancashire and then became club professional at Otley, proved an immensely popular figure among his peers during his captaincy, where at regional events before the final round he would make the effort to shake the hand of every competitor on the tee and wish them luck.
Reilly admitted the last two years had been a humbling experience.
He said: “Being captain has given me the chance to experience more than most pros do in a lifetime.
“I’ve had the opportunity to meet people and go to some marvellous places like Augusta National for the Masters, then to the Ryder Cup in Kentucky. It’s been a great experience, a privilege and a pleasure.”