Burnley rallies to support ex-Claret Gary Parkinson after stroke trauma

Gary Parkinson

Gary Parkinson

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FANS, former players and current football stars have teamed up to raise funds for popular former Clarets player Gary Parkinson who was struck down with a stroke last year.

Gary (43) is bravely battling the after-effects of his severe stroke and friends from around the local football world have been busy raising funds.

A special fund-raising dinner was held at Turf Moor recently which raised £18,000 for the Gary Parkinson Trust Fund and was presented to his wife Deborah at Burnley’s recent home match against Middlesbrough, another of the defender’s former clubs.

Most recently a youth team coach at Premier League Club Blackpool, two of the club’s stars Charlie Adam and DJ Campbell attended the Turf Moor dinner as did Clarets’ favourites Graham Alexander and Clarke Carlisle, former Claret David Eyres, as well as representatives from other former clubs.

Burnley chief executive Paul Fletcher and former player Steve Kindon were the guest speakers on the night which also included an auction.

Mrs Veronica Simpson, secretary of the Burnley Former Players’ Association, said: “The amount of money raised demonstrates the high regard Gary is held in around football.

“Around 350 people attended the dinner and I know Deborah and Gary’s children were very moved by the presentation and reception at the match.”

Gary signed for Burnley in 1994 where he established himself as a fans’ favourite even scoring the crucial winning goal at Wembley in the Second Division play-off final.

He later played for Preston North End and Blackpool, having also represented Middlesbrough and Bolton Wanderers.

Middlesbrough Football Club is planning a fund-raising dinner at the Riverside Stadium on May 12th and a football match featuring former players on May 15th. Preston North End are also arranging a 20/20 cricket match involving some of his former clubs on May 8th.

A tribute book can still be signed at Turf Moor’s Bob Lord Stand reception between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.