A new book has been published detailing the life and career of Blackburn Rovers legend Tony Parkes.

Written by Suzanne Geldard, a sports reporter at the Lancashire Telegraph’s sister title, the Oldham Times, 'One Hundred and Ten Percent Legend' provides an in-depth look at Tony’s 34-year career at Rovers as a player, coach, and caretaker manager.

Tony began his playing career at Ewood Park in 1970 and stayed until his retirement, then joining the coaching staff and standing in as caretaker manager six times between 1986 and 2004.

He was sadly diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in late 2019 and proceeds from the book will go towards paying for his care as well as charities that help people with the disease.


Suzanne said: “He’s a really popular figure, mostly with Rovers fans but in the town as well because he’d been here for so long. He made it his home.

“The reason the book has come about is because he was sadly diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2019, just before what ended up being lockdown. That was a big adjustment for the family.

“I went to school with his daughter Natalie [Parkes-Thompson]. A publisher approached her and she knew I’d always wanted to write a book.

“Her dad was a big help to me when I was plotting a career in journalism and he ended up being a big part of putting me on this career path.

"I felt like I owed him and I wanted to do something to help his family.”

Due to Tony’s condition, he was unable to recall any of the stories from his career, which led the book to be focused on the words of those who knew him throughout his career.

READ MORE: Blackburn Rovers fan pens new book about club 'legend' Bob Crompton

Rovers legends Kenny Dalglish and Alan Shearer both featured and were hugely positive about the effect Tony had on their respective times at the club.

Suzanne said: “The way it had to be told is sad because Tony has no recollection of his career.

"He recognises certain people but he couldn’t tell you stories about what happened, so it had to be done through the eyes of the people he worked with and his family.

“I had a chat with Natalie about who would be good to speak to, people Tony enjoyed working with. The first two names were Kenny Dalglish and Alan Shearer.

“It was quite difficult making contact with them because they’re such big people in football, but once I managed to track them down they got in touch straight away and were really happy to contribute and had such lovely things to say about Tony.

"You could feel the outpouring of love just come through.”

Lancashire Telegraph: Blackburn Rovers legend Tony Parkes holding the book with his granddaughterBlackburn Rovers legend Tony Parkes holding the book with his granddaughter (Image: Natalie Parkes-Thompson/Twitter)

Natalie, who helped Suzanne in the joint-venture to write the book, was delighted with the early reception to the book and how it came out, and hopes it will serve as a great reminder to her and Tony’s two granddaughters of the man he was before his diagnosis.

She said: “My dad always said he’s got lots of stories and things he could share but then with the diagnosis that started quite rapidly disappearing.

“It shows how everybody who has come into contact with my dad throughout his career all had the same positive things to say about him, which I think is nice for me to remember.

"Because that’s how he should be remembered, for what he did for Blackburn Rovers.

READ MORE: Tomasson to give Blackburn Rovers rising stars every chance to impress

“It’s a nice reminder of who my dad actually is and to know that legacy is out there forever is really special.

"The added bonus for me is it was written by my friend, so it’s somebody who knows me, knows my dad, and we’ve grown up together. That makes it extra special.”

The book has been soft-launched on Amazon ahead of a full launch at the start of the 2023/24 season.

Suzanne added: “Tony was such a loyal servant to the club it was a story worthy of being told anyway, but helping towards his future care and creating something for Natalie and his granddaughters was the driving force behind it.”