Clarets fans rally for Burnley FC hero Gary Parkinson with ‘locked-in syndrome’
THE football world is still rallying round to raise funds for the care of stricken former Burnley footballer Gary Parkinson.
The former defender, who played for the Clarets between 1994 and 1997, suffered a severe stroke in September 2010 leaving him with “Locked-in Syndrome”.
He remains aware of his surroundings, but cannot move or communicate verbally due to complete paralysis of nearly all voluntary muscles in his body, except for his eyes.
Gary is currently being cared for at a local neurological rehabilitation centre with occasional visits home, but wife Deborah is hoping to raise funds to make significant changes to the family home in order for Gary to make longer home visits.
Burnley fans helped to raise £3,800 last Saturday when they contributed to a bucket collection at Turf Moor during Saturday’s game against Coventry City.
Former Clarets teammate David Eyres, who has helped organise a number of fund-raising events, carried one of the buckets with Gary’s daughter Chloe.
He said: “The generosity of the Burnley fans was exceptional. It’s nice to know that they still appreciate one of their own.
“Gary’s family would like to get him home but their house needs fitting out. There is no family income now which is why this fund-raising is so important.”
David will also join other former teammates to take part in a bicycle ride from John O’Groats to Land’s End called Le Jog.
He added: “I’m doing one leg of it but Terry Pashley, Jamie Hoyland and Andy Farrell are doing the full ride.
“I’ve also been chatting to David Moyes, the Everton manager, about organising a pre-season friendly between Everton and Fleetwood Town to raise a bit more for Gary’s care.”
Bolton Wanderers have organised a dinner at their Reebok Stadium on Saturday following their game against Swansea City, at which former players and friends will attend.
Preston North End, another of Gary’s former clubs, are also organising a fund-raising event.