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ToffeeWeb History  Past Players Player Fact File

Joe Parkinson  FACTS
Born Eccles, 11 June 1971
Height 5' - 11" (180 cm)
Joined Everton from Bournemouth in March 1994 (250,000*)
Debut Sub: v Aston Villa (h), 20 August 1994
Full: v Tottenham Hotspur (a), 24 August 1994
Nicknames Pieman
Final Match v Leicester City (h) , 9 April 1997
Left Everton Retired injured in November 1999.
Honours FA Cup Winner (1995)
Seasons Club Apps Gls
1988-1993 Wigan Athletic 115 (4) 6
1993-1994 Bournemouth 30 1

*Depending on appearances, the fee could rise to 800,000.

  • Good workrate
  • Covers for defenders going forward
  • Excellent tackler and ball-winner
  • Has a good shot
  • Good attitude
  • Not the most imaginative player
  • Should shoot more often
  • Tends to be anonymous
  • Recovering from long-term injury
Joe Parkinson is the kind of player who is vital to every team, but who will never be a superstar.  Sadly, in the case of the Pieman from Wigan, he may never get the chance to show how important he is in the centre of the field, because he may never recover the form he showed before sustaining a career-threatening knee injury.

Joe Parkinson may go down as Mike Walker's most successful purchase during his brief tenure in the Manager's office.  When Parkinson was purchased from Bournemouth on Deadline Day in March 1994 for "only" 250,000, many regarded him as little better than a squad player, with Mike Walker commenting that it might take 12 months for him to "come through".  Joe thought differently, and was in the first team from the start of the next season. 

Parkinson started his Everton career as a defender, but played the majority of the 94-95 season and 95-96 season in the centre of midfield.  Under Joe Royle, the Everton midfield was revitalised on a diet of PAL and the bones of old Liverpool players: the Dogs of War were unleashed.  Ebbrell, Parkinson, and Horne became a solid and virtually impenetrable wall that was to prove itself with a record of seven successive clean-sheets in the Premiership campaign of 1994-95.  It wasn't pretty, and it wasn't School of Science.  However, it was what the doctor ordered to stop the rot of fancy but ineffective football at Goodison Park. 

Uncompromisingly combative and a real power-house for the team, Parkinson scored his first Everton goal in the 5th Round FA Cup rout of Norwich City by a score 5-0.  Parkinson was the only un-capped member of the Everton team that went on to win the FA Cup in 1995.

The importance of Pieman's role in the Everton midfield was emphasised early in the 1995/96 campaign when he missed six games with an ankle injury. Everton failed to register a win in his absence.  It was with diligent work throughout this season that Parkinson finally won over the more skeptical Evertonians. 

It is a sad irony that the true value and importance of Parkinson in the centre of Everton's midfield was only just becoming widely recognized in the 1996-97 season.  Parkinson was consolidating his role when he injured his knee during the frenetic Christmas period. He came back a month later, but was clearly not fully fit.  He was apparently sustained with pain-killing injections for some of the time, appearing in a few games until his knee finally gave out at home to Leicester City

Three operations and many months later, the rumour-mill started cranking: Joe may never play again. Although they are unlikely to accept any responsibility for this potential tragedy, the approach taken by the club physio and the manger in persuading their charges to "play through the pain barrier" with the aid of pain-killing injections must be brought into question.  First Ebbrell, and now perhaps Parkinson... will Grant be the next? 

In September 1997, amidst the rumours that Joe Parkinson was crocked, he admitted that his continuing injury nightmare was making him depressed. But he refuted claims that he wouldn't play again that season. Parkinson said, "I've not discussed it with the manager Howard Kendall, but I had a set back a few weeks ago and it was decided not to push it for a while."

Hopefully, the appointment of a new physio for the Everton First Team, with Andy Jones replacing Les Helm, may see a more enlightened approach to the problem of fielding injured players. Meanwhile, Joe has been over to Sweden for some revolutionary new surgery to rebuild his knee. Consequently, he played no part in the 1997-98 debacle that was Everton's season.

A new season and a new manager... but the same old problem for Joe Parkinson. Treatment of his knee problem continues periodically in Sweden, and he will be lucky to be playing at all in 1999.

April 1999: The Daily Post reports that Joe Parkinson has seen a chink of light emerge in his two-year battle to relaunch his playing career.  The combative star has received the all-clear to resume light training following a whistle-stop trip to Sweden this week for a check-up from the surgeon who carried out the original operation on his injured knee.

Parkinson has not pulled on an Everton shirt since April 1997 when he played through the pain barrier to help ensure another successful battle against the drop.  But the latest report on what was seen as last-ditch surgery at the time has given the 27-year-old genuine hope of picking up the pieces of his Goodison career.

"Joe went back this week to see the surgeon who performed the original operation and he has been told he can restart light training, which is good news," said Smith, who has never been able to call upon Parkinson this season.

"It will still be a few months yet before he can go back into full training but at least he has been given the go ahead to start training again.  That's all that we could have expected."

August 1999: Joe's recovery was reported to be progressing well, and he was aiming to join the first team squad in training at the end of August.

November 1999: Finally announced that he was forced to retire form the game, his knee getting worse under the strain of playing real football, as opposed to just training. 

March 2000: Bill Kenwright has appointed Joe Parkinson as the club's first Fan Liaison Officer, in a move which suggested better attention to fans' issues and concerns from the new regime.  But it wasn't to be the solution for Joe, who found the job a painful daily reminder that he could no longer play the game he loved.  Graeme Sharp took over the job in October 2000

  Echo Interview    Article from the Independent on Sunday

Season Squad
1993-94 18 - (-) - - (-) - - (-) -
1994-95 18 32 (2) - 8 (-) 1 40 (2) 1
1995-96 18 28 (-) 3 6 (-) - 34 (-) 3
1996-97 18 28 (-) - 3 (-) - 31 (-) -
1997-98 18 - (-) - - (-) - - (-) -
1998-99 33 - (-) - - (-) - - (-) -
1999-2k 23 - (-) - - (-) - - (-) -

Totals: 88 (2) 3 17 (-) 1 105 (2) 4
Last update: 10 November 1999

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