Cyclist killed by drink-driver remembered as 'generous and friendly family man'

Tony Parsons was killed in September 2017 and his killer, drink-driver Alexander McKeller, was sentenced on Friday.

Cyclist Tony Parsons killed by drink-driver on A82 remembered as ‘generous and friendly family man’ STV News

A cyclist who was killed by a drink-driver has been remembered as a “generous” and “friendly” family man with a passion for golf by a close friend.

Tony Parsons, 63, died on September 29, 2017, when he was hit on the A82 near Bridge of Orchy in Argyll and Bute.

Drink-driver Alexander McKellar caused his death and later attempted to hide Mr Parson’s body in a bid to cover up the crime with help from his twin brother Robert.

After the sentencing of the two brothers on Friday, Mr Parsons’ friend, who does not wish to be named, spoke with STV News about his memories of the ex-navy officer, who he said had “immense generosity and friendship”.

He said: “Tony Parsons and I first met in 1974 when as young married families we became neighbours in married quarters as we both served as Royal Naval Submariners.

“Over the years we became great friends, enjoying going out for dinner and going on holiday together.

“He had hospitality tickets to the Ricoh Women’s British Open Golf Tournament at Trump Turnberry and treated my wife and I to a fabulous day out.”

He recalled Mr Parsons kind spirit and told how: “Golf was his passion and he tried so hard to teach me to play. However, I had a problem in that I am left-handed, but that didn’t stop him as he bought me a second hand half set of left-handed clubs without my knowledge.

“He then treated me to sessions on the driving range at the great western road followed by nine holes at his club.”

He continued: “Tony was an honest decent family man with two grandchildren who he treasured, he was generous and friendly by nature.

“My wife and I have lost a good friend in a tragic and callous way which is unforgivable. He will be sadly missed by his family and friends, but he also leaves some wonderful memories of happy times.”

Mr Parsons’ disappearance sparked a large scale missing person probe, which included a BBC Crimewatch TV appeal by his son.

It was only in January 12, 2021 – more than three years after he was killed – that his remains were discovered in a remote area of Bridge of Orchy after the then-girlfriend of McKeller contacted police.

In November 2020, Alexander was asked by his girlfriend, Caroline, if there was “anything in his past” that would affect their future together.

He confessed to killing the 63-year-old cyclist and took the woman to the burial site.

Upon seeing the site, Alexander’s girlfriend dropped a Red Bull can as a marker and then told police.

Officers found the Red Bull can and Mr Parson’s body alongside animal remains.

McKellar was sentenced to 12 years in jail on Friday after admitting he killed Mr Parsons and then hid his body in nearby woods.

Robert, who pleaded guilty to attempting to defeat the ends of justice along with his sibling, was sentenced to five years and three months behind bars.

The brothers were sentenced before the High Court in Glasgow on Friday morning.