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In profile: Garry Parker

15 October 2014

A detailed look back at the new Bolton Wanderers first team coach's career so far

An experienced top-flight midfielder, Garry Parker reunites with Neil Lennon at Macron Stadium having played alongside the new Bolton Wanderers manager for five years at Leicester City.

The pair linked up again at Parkhead following the Northern Irishman’s appointment as Celtic boss with Parker coming in as first team coach – a position he again takes up with the Whites.

A former England youth and ‘B’ international, the 49-year-old started his career at First Division side Luton Town as an apprentice in 1982, before making his debut for the Hatters the following year.

Despite starting in Luton’s 1985 FA Cup semi-final defeat against Everton, infrequent appearances saw Parker seek a midway through the following season as he dropped down the divisions to sign for Hull City.

An automatic starter during his time with the Tigers, Parker’s consistent displays over his two-and-a-half years with the club would eventually lead to a return to the top-flight as Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest parted with £260,000 to bring the midfielder to the East Midlands in 1988. 

Parker initially struggled to cement a starting berth at Forest, with Clough preferring a partnership of England internationals Neil Webb and Steve Hodge in the centre of midfield. 

However, over the Christmas period of 1988, he was given a role on the left wing and proved so successful that he stayed there for the rest of the season. 


Having scored the winning goal in the semi-final against Bristol City, Parker won the first major honour of his career later that summer as Forest beat his former club Luton to win the 1989 League Cup. He also scored twice at Wembley in their Full Members Cup Final victory over Everton later that year.

Following Webb’s departure to Manchester United Parker cemented his place in his preferred central-midfield berth, and was part of the Forest side that retained the League Cup in 1990, beating Oldham Athletic in the final.

Keeping his place despite the emergence of Roy Keane during the 1990/91 season, Parker’s performances earned him a call-up to Graham Taylor’s England squad, however, he would never win a cap.

Helping Forest reach the 1991 FA Cup Final, Parker was sold to Aston Villa that summer and was a member of the side that narrowly missed out on winning the first ever Premier League title in 1993.

Joining Leicester City in February 1995, Parker would eventually partner Lennon in the centre of midfield following the Bolton boss’ arrival at the club 12 months later.

Although his first season with the Foxes ended in relegation, Leicester bounced back the following year to win promotion via the Play-Offs with Parker himself scoring in the final, while he would later win the third League Cup winner’s medal of his career after beating Middlesbrough in 1997.

Making his last appearance for the club in January 1999, Parker would not officially retire until the end of the 2000/01 season, having already joined the backroom staff at Filbert Street.

Following the departure of Peter Taylor as manager the following season, Parker briefly took charge of the side in October 2001.

Forming part of Celtic’s successful backroom set-up alongside Lennon and Johan Mjallby after joining the club in July 2010, Parker will be keen his time at the Trotters will be just as memorable for the trio.


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