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Ewood hero Jack Walker was one of a kind
AS Blackburn Rovers were getting relegated from the Premier League, the Ewood Park stands reverberated with chants of ‘there is only Jack Walker’.
As far as Tony Parkes is concerned they are right and is adamant no Premier League clubs will see another ‘Uncle Jack’.
Now, with Rovers preparing for the new Championship campaign, Parkes fears the club are ‘back to square one’ having watched Walker’s legacy be dismantled by the new Venky’s regime.
Parkes said: “You don’t get Jack Walker’s these days. Owners will go anywhere now. Jack was a Blackburn supporter, he was Blackburn through and through.
“I can’t see where there is a Jack Walker now. They are all in it not for the right reasons.
“He wanted the best for Blackburn Rovers. The fans still sing there is only Jack Walker and that will be remembered for a long time.
“Jack made all that happened happen. The legacy that he left was supposed to get Blackburn through the darker days, well I can’t see much of Jack’s money being spent.
“It was supposed to leave a legacy at the club but that has gone and we are back to square one and struggling as a football town.
“Jack was in it for the right reasons. He was a Blackburn lad, he earnt his living in Blackburn. He built nearly a new stadium, he built the academy, the senior training ground – all in three years.
“He knocked houses down to build car parks but people got top dollar. Now as owners we have the total opposite. You can’t deny that.
“Venky’s could not be any less like Jack Walker.”
Parkes grew to knew Walker well during their time together at Ewood Park and reveals the club’s benefactor actually grew quite frustrated by the ‘beautiful game’.
Parkes said: “The only think Jack couldn’t do was get on top of football. He had his fingers in a lot of pies but he couldn’t get on top of football.
“If he had a business and there was something wrong, he would have a board meeting and it would be settled. It doesn’t work like that in football. He can’t pull the strings in football.
“He found it very difficult at times and I think he stayed longer than he wanted to because we got relegated. He didn’t want to leave a sinking ship.
“The politics of football frustrated him.”