Former Pool stars turn out for Parky
Around 400 people turned out to see former Blackpool stars take on an AFC Blackpool side in aid of former Seasiders coach Gary Parkinson.
Former Seasider Scott Taylor drove up from London to take part, Bury’s Peter Clarke, one-club man Danny Coid, Andy Preece and Andy Morrell all turned out, along with Steve Thompson.
Ritchie Wellens attended but was unable to play due to injury.
The BFC Legends ran out 5-0 winners in the game which raised funds for Gary, struck down with illness five years ago. He has been fighting back from a brain stem stroke, which left him with locked-in syndrome and his life on the line.
The condition left Gary, who lives in Bolton, completely paralysed, apart from eye movements, and he still requires 24-hour care and use of a wheelchair.
It was just three weeks into Blackpool’s Premier League season when Gary was taken ill, working alongside manager Ian Holloway. Gary started his career as a junior at Everton in 1985 before signing for Middlesbrough. He then went on to play for Bolton Wanderers, Burnley, Preston North End and Blackpool. John Cross, chairman of the Blackpool Football Club Former Players’ Association, said the day was a great success. He said: “Huge thanks must go to Ryan Smith – Big Ry – who is the one who set up the game, and Tony Parr who hosted it for us. It went really well. It’s difficult to say how many were there because we just asked for donations on the gate and I think we had around 400 in, and we raised £1,210 through the gate, a raffle and auction.
“We had every kind of weather you get as usual on Common Edge Road, all the seasons in one day. We had some stellar names playing and it was great to see them.
“Thanks also to AFC Blackpool and referee Richard Wild and his linesmen George and Derek.”