Phil Parkinson started his career in professional football in the youth setup at Southampton. His professional debut in the game came after he made the move back to his native north west, joining Bury in 1988.
At the Shakers he would go on to register over a century of appearances over a four-year spell, playing in midfield alongside current Bolton Wanderers under-18s coach David Lee.
Parkinson then joined Reading from Bury in a deal worth around £37,500. It proved to be money well spent for the Royals, as Parkinson went on to become a cult figure with the Berkshire club, registering a grand total of 425 appearances over the following 11 years.
Shortly after his arrival Parkinson was part of the side that won the Division Two title in the 1993/94 season.
In the 2001/02 season he would captain the side under then-manager Alan Pardew, leading Reading to promotion from Division Two once again.
After that achievement Parkinson was awarded a testimonial game at Reading, with a crowd of over 20,000 in attendance for a memorable game at the Madejski Stadium which saw the likes of John Barnes and Paul Gascoigne on show.
Parkinson called time on his playing career in 2003, and shortly after Reading later ran a fan vote to determine an all-time XI. Parkinson topped the vote as the club’s best ever central midfielder.
Parkinson took his first steps in management with Colchester United in 2003, initially guiding them to a comfortable mid-table position in the Second Division.
Another season of consolidation followed, before in 2005/06 Parkinson guided the Us to an unlikely second-place finish and consequent promotion to the Championship.
He was then appointed as Hull City manager in the summer of 2006 before later reuniting with Pardew as his assistant at Charlton Athletic.
Following Pardew’s departure in November 2008, Parkinson was handed the manager’s job and despite relegation from the Championship, Charlton responded with a positive showing, missing out on an immediate return to the second tier after a play-off semi-final defeat against Swindon.
His most recent spell in charge of Bradford City began in 2011. Sitting just outside the League Two drop zone, Parkinson initially steadied the ship and guided the Bantams to safety. Under his watch, Bradford would then go on to topple both Arsenal and Aston Villa in a memorable run to the League Cup final during the 2012/13 campaign. Despite defeat in the showpiece event against Swansea City at Wembley, Parkinson was rewarded with the Outstanding Achievement award.
Later that season he guided Bradford to the League Two play-off final, where they defeated Northampton to gain promotion to League One.
Bradford continued to knock on the door of the League One play-off in the following two seasons, whilst further scalps also followed in cup competitions. A memorable victory against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge during the FA Cup a particular highlight.
During the most recent campaign Parkinson and Bradford reached the League One play-offs, though were defeated by Millwall over two legs in the semi-finals.
On Friday 10 June Parkinson’s spell at Bradford officially came to an end, as he agreed to join Bolton Wanderers ahead of the 2016/17 season in Sky Bet League One.