DEBORAH Parkinson has praised Professional Footballer’s Association chief Gordon Taylor for his union’s ‘unbelievable support and kind-heartedness.’

The PFA have financed a speech therapist for her husband Gary and assisted the family financially in other ways as the former Burnley defender continues to battle Locked in Syndrome.

“Right from the very beginning the PFA have been there, making sure that we were looked after,” said Deborah.

“It was a very traumatic time in our family when Gary fell ill, but the PFA helped every step of the way.

“We were more used to seeing Gordon Taylor on TV or at high profile sporting events, but he contacted us immediately and invited us to the PFA in Manchester with my father.

“Gordon put the kettle and said: ‘How we can we help Gary?

“Since then, Gordon has visited Gary at home several times and he has become a firm friend of the family.

“Gordon is a very genuine and kind man.”

The PFA have also provided psychological support for Gary and Deborah added: “Eight years later they are still supporting us every month.

“The PFA are a big organisation, with thousands of members, and with all sorts of players struggling with different problems.

“But they just don’t look after the top footballers, they help everyone and do great work.

“But I never expected them to do so much for our family.

“I didn’t think it was in their remit to do what they’ve done for us.

“I feel I could go to them with any problem and they would help sort it out.

“It is amazing - I can’t thank them enough for their support.”