Oxford-born Parker was a classy midfielder with a great passing ability, vision and ability to read a game. He arrived at Filbert Street in February 1995 with a very impressive record.
In May 1983, he made his debut against Manchester United as a 17 year-old for David Pleat’s Luton Town in an old First Division fixture. In 1985, he played in the Luton Town side defeated by Everton in the FA Cup Semi-Final before moving to Hull City, where he spent two years, winning six England Under-21s caps.
In March 1988, he was transferred to Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest for a fee of £260,000. At Forest, he won the League Cup in 1989 and, later that season, played in the FA Cup at Hillsborough on the day of the Hillsborough disaster. He was a League Cup winner again in 1990 and an FA Cup finalist against Tottenham Hotspur in 1991.
In November 1991, he moved to Aston Villa for a fee of £650,000, was selected for the full England squad and was in the Villa side which finished runners-up in the first season of the Premier League.
Garry joined Mark McGhee’s Leicester City in February 1995, although they were relegated from the Premier League at the end of the season. He was made captain at the start of the next season. When McGhee left in December 1995, Martin O’Neill succeeded him, but the team only won three of the next 15 league games.
A late season run of good results saw City scrape into the play-offs. Garry scored the winning goal in the second leg of the semi-final against Stoke City and equalised with a penalty in the Play-Off Final at Wembley in the victory over Crystal Palace. He was Man of the Match at Wembley and was Leicester City’s Player of the Year.
The next season, he was a key member of the City side which finished ninth in the Premier League, won the League Cup and qualified for the UEFA Cup, when he played in both legs of the controversial defeat by Atlético Madrid in September 1997. He joined O’Neill’s coaching staff at Leicester in 1999 and continued as coach under Peter Taylor until Taylor was sacked in September 2001, resulting in Garry briefly becoming caretaker manager for one game.
He left Filbert Street soon afterwards. He became first team coach for Neil Lennon at Celtic, Bolton Wanderers, Hibernian and, most recently, the Cypriot side Omonia Nicosia, where he was assistant manager.
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