Burnley hero Parkinson in 'critical' condition

CLARETS HERO: Gary Parkinson

CLARETS HERO: Gary Parkinson

First published in News Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

Clarets legend Gary Parkinson is tonight fighting for life in hospital after suffering a stroke.

The 42-year-old, famous for scoring the winning goal at Wembley in the Division Two play-off final of 1994, is said to be in an 'extremely critical condition'.

The dad-of-three, now head of youth at Blackpool FC, was being treated at Salford Royal Hope Hospital after he was taken ill yesterday.

A statement released from Blackpool said: “Head of youth Gary Parkinson is in an extremely critical condition at Hope Hospital, after being transferred from Royal Bolton Hospital yesterday afternoon.

“The thoughts of all at Blackpool FC are with Gary's family at this extremely difficult time.”

The former right-back, who made more than 100 appearances for Burnley between 1994 and 1997, including his star performance in the victory over Stockport County, also enjoyed lengthy spells at Middlesbrough and Preston North End – Burnley's opponents at Turf Moor at 5.15pm tomorrow.

A Burnley FC spokesman said: “The club is very sorry to hear this news.

“We send both Gary and his family our best wishes at this difficult time and hope he can battle through.”

A spokesman for Preston North End said: “Our thoughts go out to Gary and his family at this extremely difficult time.”

Alan Beecroft, chairman of the Ex-Clarets Association and treasurer of Colne Clarets, said it was 'frightening' that such a healthy man could suffer a stroke.

He said: “I was at Jimmy McIlroy's house on Thursday night. We got a phone call to say what had gone on.

“When such a fit bloke, at 42 years old, has something like this happen to him, it frightens you a bit.

"I'm 20 years older than him. It's very, very sad.

“Obviously our thoughts go out to his family at this moment in time. It's horrific.

“My memory of him is when he scored at Wembley. He jumped over the barriers to celebrate with the fans.

"It was such a shock we ever won a game at Wembley!

“I've been waiting for a phone call all day to see if there is any development.”

Defender-turned-coach Jamie Hoyland played with Gary at Burnley for three years.

The Preston North End youth coach said: “I used to get changed next to him.

“I've been on the phone today to David Eyres and Liam Robinson.

"We're all upset and I'm absolutely devastated to be honest.

“He was a brilliant player.

“We've both gone into coaching. He's down the road from me at Blackpool and we talk all the time.

“Something like this hits you out of the blue and it shocks you. I've still not come to terms with it.

“It puts everything else, whatever your troubles are, into perspective.

“We've all got our fingers crossed. I'm 44 and it shows it can happen to anybody. I just can't believe it.

“We played them two weeks ago, he was his same old self moaning about this and moaning about that, he was a great laugh."

David Eyres, who scored the equaliser against Stockport before Parkinson grabbed the second-half winner, said: "He is one of my closest mates in football. I can't take it in at all.

"I can only think of Debbie and the kids. It's just unbearable."

Andy Farrell, who was part of that play-off winning squad and is now assistant youth team coach at Burnley, said: “One of the things about getting promotion that I'll always remember is him and David Eyres - the two goalscorers - pictured together with big smiles on their faces."

On his Twitter account, Burnley fan Alastair Campbell today wrote: “Best wishes to Gary Parkinson and his family. Gary's a Burnley legend because of the Wembley play-off goal v Stockport '94”.

Comments (12)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

3:42pm Fri 10 Sep 10

duke bar says...

Quick recovery Gary.

From all Clarets everywhere.
Quick recovery Gary. From all Clarets everywhere. duke bar
  • Score: 0

5:32pm Fri 10 Sep 10

nontetleydrinker says...

Get well soon gary,
from accy clarets.
Get well soon gary, from accy clarets. nontetleydrinker
  • Score: 0

8:27pm Fri 10 Sep 10

chriseo1 says...

come on my old camping buddy, you can do it!
come on my old camping buddy, you can do it! chriseo1
  • Score: 0

12:09am Sat 11 Sep 10

jpm987 says...

Best wishes GP and family, our thoughts are with you all.
Best wishes GP and family, our thoughts are with you all. jpm987
  • Score: 0

12:53am Sat 11 Sep 10

stevieh says...

Best wishes from a rovers fan. We are not all hate filled idiots. Hope gary makes a full recovery.
Best wishes from a rovers fan. We are not all hate filled idiots. Hope gary makes a full recovery. stevieh
  • Score: 0

10:57am Sat 11 Sep 10

baz58 says...

stevieh wrote:
Best wishes from a rovers fan. We are not all hate filled idiots. Hope gary makes a full recovery.
To true Stevieh, Best wishes and get well soon gary. From another Rovers fan.
[quote][p][bold]stevieh[/bold] wrote: Best wishes from a rovers fan. We are not all hate filled idiots. Hope gary makes a full recovery.[/p][/quote]To true Stevieh, Best wishes and get well soon gary. From another Rovers fan. baz58
  • Score: 0

12:51pm Sat 11 Sep 10

Markus Spartacus says...

Not sounding too good for Parky. I used to work for BFC 15 years ago and Parky was one of the nicest guys around. My thoughts are with Gary and his family.
Not sounding too good for Parky. I used to work for BFC 15 years ago and Parky was one of the nicest guys around. My thoughts are with Gary and his family. Markus Spartacus
  • Score: 0

12:54pm Sat 11 Sep 10

Robbie says...

rivalry does not come into this., get well soon.
rivalry does not come into this., get well soon. Robbie
  • Score: 0

1:07pm Sat 11 Sep 10

akon says...

Good Luck to Gary ,hope you pull through & make a full recovery...
Thought's are with you & your family.
Good Luck to Gary ,hope you pull through & make a full recovery... Thought's are with you & your family. akon
  • Score: 0

7:26pm Sat 11 Sep 10

burnley5960 says...

stevieh wrote:
Best wishes from a rovers fan. We are not all hate filled idiots. Hope gary makes a full recovery.
Well said mate I agree 100% and I will say a prayer for him,I hope he pulls through.
[quote][p][bold]stevieh[/bold] wrote: Best wishes from a rovers fan. We are not all hate filled idiots. Hope gary makes a full recovery.[/p][/quote]Well said mate I agree 100% and I will say a prayer for him,I hope he pulls through. burnley5960
  • Score: 0

7:28pm Sat 11 Sep 10

burnley5960 says...

Robbie wrote:
rivalry does not come into this., get well soon.
Exactly good man
[quote][p][bold]Robbie[/bold] wrote: rivalry does not come into this., get well soon.[/p][/quote]Exactly good man burnley5960
  • Score: 0

1:00pm Sun 12 Sep 10

Woody Riversider says...

Aye, lets hope he pulls through this ?

Puts everything into perspective.

Speedy recovery.

Arte et labore
Aye, lets hope he pulls through this ? Puts everything into perspective. Speedy recovery. Arte et labore Woody Riversider
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree