Later this month Coventry City's Academy Manager Gregor Rioch will take part in the Great North Run to raise funds for former Middlesbrough defender Gary Parkinson.

The former Luton Town trainee, who appeared for Barnet, Peterborough United, Hull City, Macclesfield Town and Shrewsbury Town is running in the popular half marathon to generate funds to help Parkinson in his recovery from a stroke.

Parkinson, who made over 200 appearances for Boro and also represented Bolton, Burnley, Preston North End and Blackpool, suffered a stroke a year ago today and now suffers from locked-in syndrome and can now only communicate by using the movement of his eyes and cannot move any muscles in his body.

The Thornaby-born full-back won promotion three times when he played under Gregor's father, Bruce, and after his playing career came to an end he progressed into coaching in youth football, something close to Gregor's heart given the role he currently performs at the Ricoh Arena.

Rioch told "He's one of my own, if you like, because of the fact he worked with the youth team up at Blackpool.

"I think we were all shocked when we heard what had happened but there have been cases where people have made a recovery from the condition, which has given everyone hope.

"I really want to raise as much money as possible to help Gary, his wife and three children, on the road to recovery.

"I have set up a just giving page on the web and it would great if people took the time to sponsor me. It doesn't matter how large or small, it will all go towards helping Gary to recover so he can share some of those great memories of his playing days once again."

Gregor is hoping to raise over £2,000 and you can support him in his target by sponsoring him at

For the latest news on Gary Parkinson and for more information about the Gary Parkinson Trust Fund please visit