Former footballer Gary Parkinson in critical condition

Gary Parkinson courtesy of Phill Heywood Gary Parkinson began his playing career at Everton in 1985

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A Lancashire football legend is in a critical condition in hospital after suffering a serious stroke.

Gary Parkinson, 42, played for Preston, Burnley and Blackpool, and scored the winning goal in Burnley's division two play-off against Stockport in 1994.

He has been the head of youth training at Blackpool FC since June 2006.

The former right back, a married father of three, is being treated at Salford Royal Hospital after falling ill on Thursday.

All three of his former clubs said their thoughts were with Mr Parkinson's family. He has also acted as a sports commentator for BBC Radio Lancashire.

His sudden illness will overshadow Saturday's match between two of his former clubs, Burnley and Preston.

Mr Parkinson, who is originally from Thornaby in North Yorkshire, began his career at Everton in 1985 before moving to Middlesbrough, Bolton Wanderers, then the three Lancashire clubs.

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