George Parris

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George Parris
George Parris at Upton Park 02 May 2015.jpg
Parris at Upton Park on 2 May 2015
Personal information
Full name George Michael Parris[1]
Date of birth (1964-09-11) 11 September 1964 (age 54)
Place of birth Barking, England
Playing position Midfielder / Defender
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1982–1993 West Ham United 239 (12)
1993–1995 Birmingham City 39 (1)
1994Brentford (loan) 5 (0)
1994Bristol City (loan) 6 (0)
1995Brighton & Hove Albion (loan)[2] 18 (2)
1995 IFK Norrköping 4 (0)
1995–1997 Brighton & Hove Albion[2] 56 (3)
1997 Southend United 1 (0)
1997Kettering Town (loan)
1997–1998 St Leonards
National team
England Schoolboys
Teams managed
Shoreham (player-manager)
2008–2009 Whitehawk
2016–2017 Brighton & Hove Albion Women
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

George Michael R. Parris[3] (born 11 September 1964) is an English former professional footballer.


Parris was born in Barking, Essex. He played district, county and national football for Redbridge, Greater London, and England Under 15 as a schoolboy. He was invited to train at West Ham United when he was 13 and signed as an apprentice in July 1981 when he left Seven Kings High school.

West Ham United[edit]

Parris turned professional the following year in September 1982. A lengthy spell of reserve team football followed before he made his First Division debut in the final match of the 1984–85 season at home against Liverpool in May 1985. He made a handful of appearances in the first half of the 1985–86 season, then replaced the injured Steve Walford at left-back and impressed as the West Ham won 11 of their last 14 games to finish third in the table. Parris made 48 league and cup games appearances in the 1986–87 season. The arrival of left-back Tommy McQueen in March 1987 saw Parris move briefly to midfield but he returned to the left-back position for much of the 1987–88 season until the arrival of Julian Dicks in March 1988, whose form led to Parris playing at right-back or midfield for most of the rest of his career at West Ham.

He made 32 league and cup appearance in the 1988–89 season as West Ham reached the semi-finals of the League Cup but were relegated to Division Two, and 49 league and cup appearances in the 1989–90 season as West Ham again reached the semi-finals of the League Cup. He made 55 league and cup appearances in the 1990–91 season, returning to left-back when Julian Dicks suffered a severe knee injury in October 1990, scoring in four successive games in January 1991 and helping West Ham to promotion back to the First Division and to the semi-finals of the FA Cup. His performances that season saw him voted as runner-up to Ludek Miklosko as 'Hammer of the Year'. Parris made only 27 league and cup appearances in the 1991–92 season; he suffered a knee injury against Aston Villa on Boxing Day that required surgery, and then collapsed during his comeback game against Arsenal in March 1992 with a suspected heart-related problem. He returned to the first team in the opening game of the 1992–93 season against Barnsley and made 18 league and cup appearances before Birmingham City made an offer for him in March 1993. Parris had made 300 first-team appearances for West Ham, scoring 20 goals. In April 1995, after he had left the club, Parris was granted a testimonial by West Ham. Played in front of only 1,382 fans a West Ham team lost 3–2 to Ipswich Town at The Boleyn Ground.[4]

Birmingham City[edit]

Parris joined Birmingham City in March 1993 for a fee of £100,000, where he was made captain. Injuries and a change of manager in November 1993 saw him fall out of favour and he spent the 1994–95 season on loan at Brentford, Bristol City and Brighton & Hove Albion before being released. Parris had made 42 league and cup appearances for Birmingham City.

Brighton and Hove Albion[edit]

After a trial with Stoke and a short spell with Norrköping in Sweden,[5] Parris signed a permanent deal with Brighton in September 1995 and stayed for two seasons. He was made captain and made 63 first-team appearances before being released on a free transfer in May 1997. He was best remembered for an impudent goal against Bristol Rovers in October 1995 when he came from behind the Rovers goalkeeper as he released the ball to dispossess him and score.[5]

Later career[edit]

After leaving Brighton, Parris played one league game on a non-contract basis for Southend and also played for non-league clubs Kettering Town, St Leonards, where he was also assistant manager, and Shoreham, where he was player-manager.[5] After retiring from playing, he worked as a part-time activities organiser at the Ovingdean Hall School for deaf children in Sussex,[6] and went on to work as a sports coach at the University of Sussex.[7] In April 2008 he was appointed manager of Sussex County League club Whitehawk.[8] As of 2012, Parris was also operating a soccer coaching school based in Brighton.[9] In April 2016, Parris was appointed interim manager of Brighton & Hove Albion Women. He agreed to remain in post for the FA WSL Spring Series,[10] before standing down to be replaced by Hope Powell.


In 2005 his autobiography, "My Name is George...I am a Compulsive Gambler" was published.[11] During his playing days Parris became addicted to gambling, amassing debts, after leaving West Ham to join Birmingham City.[12]


  • Blows, Kirk; Ben Sharratt (2002). Claret and Blue Blood. Mainstream Publishing (Edinburgh) Ltd. pp. 178–181. ISBN 1-84018-489-2.
  • Northcutt, John (2003). The Definitive West Ham United F.C. Soccerdata. pp. 100–108. ISBN 1-899468-19-6.
  • Hogg, Tony (2005). Who's Who of West Ham United. Profile Sports Media. p. 161. ISBN 1-903135-50-8.
  • "George Parris". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 27 August 2007.
  1. ^ "George Parris". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Brighton & Hove Albion: 1948/49 – 2007/08". UK A–Z Transfers. Neil Brown. Retrieved 29 January 2009.
  3. ^ Matthews, Tony (1995). Birmingham City: A Complete Record. Derby: Breedon Books. p. 116. ISBN 978-1-85983-010-9.
  4. ^ "West Ham 2–3 Ipswich Town". Retrieved 10 May 2013.
  5. ^ a b c "The day George left a goalkeeper red-faced". The Argus. Brighton. 24 November 2001. Retrieved 27 August 2007.
  6. ^ "Youth in Action: Parris gets an eyeful of community spirit". The Argus. Brighton. 24 January 2001. Retrieved 27 August 2007.
  7. ^ "FA Cup flashback". BBC Sport. 22 April 2006. Retrieved 27 August 2007.
  8. ^ Griggs, Howard (3 April 2008). "Parris is new Whitehawk boss". The Argus. Brighton. Retrieved 9 March 2009.
  9. ^ "George Parris Football Coaching". George Parris Soccer School. Archived from the original on 20 March 2012. Retrieved 9 February 2012.
  10. ^ "George Parris to keep Brighton interim manager role for Spring Series". BBC Sport. 15 December 2016. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  11. ^ "My Name is George...I am a Compulsive Gambler". Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  12. ^ "George Parris DVD". Retrieved 28 October 2013.

External links[edit]