I received a tweet this morning, telling me that is was one year on since my ex team mate Gary Parkinson suffered a stroke.If Im honest, I wasn’t aware that it was a year, Thats not saying I don’t think of Parky, of course I do in fact I say a prayer everyday and have done since he was hit by this terrible condition, not only for my mate but also for his wife Deborah and children, Luke, Chloe and Sophie and Parkys Ma and Da.
The last time I went to visit Parky was in July accompanied by Proc (Mark Proctor). We had Parky in raptures about tales from the past and Procs clobber. Parky to look at is the same as he has always been, shiny mop of hair, good skin, great teeth and smartly dressed. Of course he is struggling from his neck downwards due to the paralysis of his muscles.Over the year there has been steady progress. He has recently shown sings of movement in his fingers, he also has rehabilitation in the swimming baths and makes visits back home.I spoke to Deborah this morning to pass on my regards to Parky and I am planning on going to visit him in the next few weeks.
Its great to see that the money raised for the Parky dinner at the Tall Trees and the game at The Riverside has gone to good use in buying a car and computer equipment for Parky to communicate with. Its not just outsiders that have raised money, Parkys son Luke arranged a five a side tournament and raised £2,000. Luke is also looking to raise funds by doing The Great North Run on the 18th September, all this as he prepares to go to university and study media,(brilliant). Parkys wife Deborah has been a massive rock as well as both his daughters.The majority of the 86 team have visited Parky, also Everton boss Davie Moyes, Gordon Taylor from the PFA, ex boro striker Lee Turnbull, ex Blackpool and Preston player David Eyres all go to see him on a weekly basis, no doubt they will all continue to support Parky and his family.
I have just published my new book Bernie’s About North East which I have dedicated to Parky and £1 of every book sold will go to The Gary Parkinson Trust fund. Also you can support his son Luke in The Great North Run go to www.justgiving.com/Luke-parkinson. As well as donating please continue to pray for Parky and his family.