FOOTBALL hero Gary Parkinson started ‘chuckling’ when former Burnley team-mate David Eyres relayed memories of theor promotion adventures in the 1990s.

The 42-year-old, who is recovering from a major stroke, should talk again and regain some movement, according to Turf Moor favourite Eyres.

Doctors feared Gary had been affected by ‘locked-in syndrome’ a form of paralysis which leaves sufferers unable to speak, move or swallow.

But medical experts at the Bury neuro-rehab unit where he is being treated have now said the stroke has not affected his vocal chords and have high hopes he will regain some movement.

Gary’s wife Deborah has also paid tribute to the fans, from current and former clubs, including Burnley, Blackpool and Preston, who have sent goodwill messages since the former right-back was struck down in September.

Ex-winger Eyres, who has been visiting his team-mate each week, said: “I was holding his hand and chatting to him about when we played for Burnley, when we got promotion, and he was chuckling.

“He had only been responding by lifting his eyes previously – it was just amazing.

“You get upset when you see Gary, but Deborah has been so strong.

"She has been told that he should regain his voice, as his vocal chords have not been affected.

“It is clearly going to take a long, long time to get back to any sort of life but the fact Gary has been told he will speak again is great.”

Alan Beecroft, of Colne Clarets, said: “This is good news.

"We have got to keep everything crossed that he can get more movement back.”