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Paul Parker 137 1991-1996 Games 2 Goals

December 11, 2009

Written by: Adam Carpenter

Paul Parker was born on 4th of April 1964 in London. He is a born and bred cockney and did enjoy a very successful career in London and Manchester for a number of years. A short, quick and energetic full back with a high work rate summed up Parker.

Before Paul signed for United in 1991, he played for starting his career at Fulham. He was a trainee here and he excelled here. Then he moved onto another London club in the name of QPR. He also played a very important role at this club too. He then moved to United in 1991.

He made only 137 in a United shirt, but he always put in a good performance after moving from London after playing for West Ham and QPR in 1991. He adapted to life in the north almost immediately.

Paul did suffer from injury quite a bit in his career and it did keep him out for certain spells at certain times. He did miss all of the Euro 1992 in Sweden through injury and he was one of many defenders sorely missed as England was dumped out in unconvincing fashion in the group stages. He was also forced to miss half of the next season for his club and ever since then the injuries kept coming harder and harder which meant he could take no part in the 1994-1995 season and eventually by the next season Gary Neville had over shone Paul.

The only trouble for Parker came in 1995 when a certain Gary Neville came along to take his place at right back for club and country which left Parker no choice but to retire from international football, and then transfer away from Manchester United. He then signed for Derby in 1996. During his time at United Paul won 2 premiership medals, 1 F.A. cup medal and 1 league cup medal.

Within a year of Paul leaving United, he had retired from club football too. In that time he played for 5 different clubs. Derby, Sheffield United, Fulham, Chelsea and Farnborough town. He could never reproduce the form of his three previous clubs and leaving United had meant he had lost it.

Paul’s international career with England lasted 5 years and 19 appearances. He was a highly underrated fullback in his day and proved what a good, versatile defender he was in the 1990 world cup. Because of an injury to first choice centre back Gary Stevens, Parker stepped in and built a very good partnership at centre half with Chris Waddle, these two played a big part in helping England to a semi final spot only to lose out on penalties to a strong West Germany team. This was the furthest England had gone in the world cup since their triumph in 1966.

After retiring from playing his football, Paul took a 5 year break from the game and then returned to have a crack at management in 2001. He took charge of Chelmsford City and then later managed Welling. He is now ambassador of the Blue Square Premier League.

Paul Parker won’t be remembered as a club legend or icon by any stretch of the imagination at Old Trafford. But he was a dam good player and he did a consistent job for a few years at United when not injured, and he is one certainly worth talking about.

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