Phil Parkinson

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Phil Parkinson
Phil Parkinson 1.png
Phil Parkinson with the League Two play-off trophy in 2013
Personal information
Full name Philip John Parkinson
Date of birth (1967-12-01) 1 December 1967 (age 48)
Place of birth Chorley, Lancashire, England
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Bradford City (manager)
Youth career
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1985–1988 Southampton 0 (0)
1988–1992 Bury 145 (5)
1992–2003 Reading 361 (20)
Total 506 (25)
Teams managed
2003–2006 Colchester United
2006 Hull City
2008–2011 Charlton Athletic
2011– Bradford City

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

† Appearances (goals)

Philip John "Phil" Parkinson (born 1 December 1967) is an English football manager and former player who currently manages Bradford City.

He is the first ever manager to take an English fourth-tier league club (Football League Two's Bradford City) to the final of a major cup competition at Wembley, where they finished runners-up in the Football League Cup in 2013.

Playing career[edit]

Parkinson, a former Southampton trainee,[1] made his Football League debut in 1988 with Bury, and later joined Reading for £50,000 in July 1992.[2]


He was named player of the season two years in a row (1997–98 and 1998–99) and was also a key member of the 1993–94 Football League Second Division championship-winning team. He captained the team to promotion from the Second Division in 2001–02 and soon after promotion success, Parkinson celebrated his testimonial year with a memorable night at Madejski Stadium, where 20,000 fans watched former Reading team-mates such as Shaka Hislop, Michael Gilkes and Jeff Hopkins toke on an England XI including the likes of Paul Gascoigne, John Barnes and Chris Waddle.[3] Parkinson's final competitive appearance for Reading was a League Cup defeat against Cambridge United on 10 September 2002.[4][5]

Although Parkinson rarely featured on the field in his final season as Reading returned to the First Division, he remained a hugely respected member of the squad until his departure to Layer Road.

In a vote to compile the Royals' best-ever eleven, Parkinson was voted the best central midfielder with 60.3% of the vote.[6] Parkinson is still sung about by Reading fans.

Management career[edit]

Colchester United[edit]

Parkinson left Reading early in 2003 after 11 seasons to take his first steps into the world of management with Colchester United. Despite showing promising signs as he steered the U's to safety upon arrival in February 2003, the 2003–04 season started poorly as Colchester slipped to three straight league defeats, only softened by a victory in the League Cup. The U's' supremo, however, continued to motivate as they surged up the table, looking like play-off contenders at one stage. They may have slipped down towards the end of the season, but a strong FA Cup run, LDV run and a good finish left optimism for U's supporters.

The 2005–06 season saw them finish in 2nd place, thereby gaining an unlikely promotion to the Championship – despite having the lowest average attendance of the division. However, he resigned in June 2006 with a year left to run on his contract.[7]

Hull City[edit]

Parkinson was confirmed as the new manager of Hull City in late June 2006,[8] following the departure of Peter Taylor. Hull agreed to pay Colchester £400,000 compensation. However, when he led Hull against his old club, he was embarrassed as his former club romped home 5–1.[9] After another defeat in the next match at home to Southampton 4–2, he left by "mutual consent" in early December, leaving Hull in the relegation zone.[10]

Charlton Athletic[edit]

Parkinson then joined Charlton Athletic in January 2007 as assistant manager to Alan Pardew, having previously worked together at Reading. He was close to a return to management with Huddersfield Town in April 2007, but made a last minute decision to remain with Charlton.[11] Parkinson later extended his contract with Charlton until 2010.[12] Following Alan Pardew's departure in November 2008, he was appointed caretaker manager[13] and given the job permanently on New Year's Eve 2008 despite failing to win any of his eight matches in caretaker charge.[14] Under his management, Charlton were relegated to the third tier of English football for the first time in nearly 30 years.

In League One, Charlton started off very well winning their first six league matches, but that run was brought to an end after a 1–1 draw at home to Southampton, Parkinson's ex manager Alan Pardew's side. Charlton continued to do well and were in the top two until the new year where Norwich overtook them and they then never returned to the top two, finishing fourth in the league. In the play-offs, they had to play Swindon Town over the two legs and lost the first one 2–1 at the County Ground. But in the second they turned it around and led 2–0 but Swindon fought back and it finished 3–3 on aggregate. Swindon then continued and won on penalties 5–4 to condemn Parkinson and his men to another season in League One. But having not won a league game since November, Parkinson was sacked on 4 January 2011, the day after his side's 4–2 loss at home to Swindon Town.[15][16]

Bradford City[edit]

Parkinson was appointed manager of Bradford City on 28 August 2011.[17] He won the League Two manager of the month for December 2011 after victories over promotion candidates Shrewsbury Town and Crewe Alexandra. Parkinson also enjoyed a promising run in the Johnstones Paint Trophy with the Bantams taking them to the Northern division semi-finals with victories over Yorkshire rivals Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United as well as away triumph over fierce local rivals Hudderfield Town on penalties, this before defeat at the hands of Oldham Athletic. He led Bradford to safety finishing 18th in League Two; he then stated that he wanted a promotion push for next season.

On 11 December 2012, Parkinson's Bradford side progressed to the semi-final of the League Cup after an historic victory over Premier League club Arsenal after a penalty shoot-out.[18]

Parkinson then led Bradford to another historic victory in the first leg of the League Cup semi-finals at Valley Parade, defeating Premier League Aston Villa 3–1 in front of 23,245 fans.[19] Despite a 2–1 defeat in the second leg at Villa Park, Bradford won the tie 4–3 on aggregate to progress to the 2013 League Cup Final at Wembley Stadium.[20] In the final, Bradford lost 5–0 to Swansea City.[21][22] After the match, Parkinson criticised referee Kevin Friend for sending Matt Duke off, which resulted a penalty and described the match as 'harsh'.[23]

His role in taking Bradford City to the Capital One Cup final resulted in him being rewarded with the Outstanding Managerial Achievement award. He said in statement: "I'm very honoured to receive this award. My name might be on it but it is a team award - not just the team on the pitch but the team off it as well."[24] With one match to go at the end of the season, Bradford City qualified for League Two play-off semi-final. After a win over two legs against Burton Albion, Bradford City were promoted to League One after beating Northampton Town 3-0.[25] After the match, Parkinson said that effectively winning against the club in the first-half was beyond his wildest dreams.[26] Shortly after, Parkinson signed a new three-year deal with the club, along with coaches Steve Parkin and Nick Allamby.[27]

Parkinson was also the Bradford City manager that orchestrated a 4-2 FA Cup fourth round win away to Chelsea on 24 January 2015.[28] League One side Bradford City had trailed 2-0, but fought back in stunning fashion to record what Robbie Fowler called the 'greatest FA Cup upset of all time'.[29] Fans of Bradford City have gone on to call him, the real 'special one' following the win at Stamford Bridge. Bradford are still the only team, at any level, to have ever overcome a 2-0 deficit at Stamford Bridge and win during the reign of Jose Mourinho. Mourinho entered the Bradford dressing room after the game and shook the hand of every player as a sign of his respect.

Bradford City followed up that win against Chelsea by progressing to the FA Cup quarter-finals by virtue of a win at home to Sunderland on 15 February 2015.

Parkinson is currently the fifth longest serving manager in English league football having been with Bradford for 4 years, 170 days.


As a Manager[edit]

Colchester United
Bradford City

As a Player[edit]

Reading F.C.


Managerial statistics[edit]

Team Nat From To Record
P W D L Win %
Colchester United England 25 February 2003 14 June 2006 187 79 54 54 42.25
Hull City England 29 June 2006 4 December 2006 24 5 6 13 20.83
Charlton Athletic England 22 November 2008 4 January 2011 114 44 37 33 38.6
Bradford City England 28 August 2011 Present 255 90 82 83 35.29
Total 580 218 179 183 37.59
As of 13 February 2016


  1. ^ Holley, Duncan; Chalk, Gary (2003). In That Number – A post-war chronicle of Southampton FC. Hagiology Publishing. p. 614. ISBN 0-9534474-3-X. 
  2. ^ "Sport in Short: Football". The Independent (London). 6 July 1992. 
  3. ^ "Phil Parkinson Testimonial". Hob Nob Anyone?. 13 May 2002. 
  4. ^ "Cambridge 3–1 Reading". BBC. 10 September 2002. Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  5. ^ "Games played by Phil Parkinson in 2002/2003". Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  6. ^ "Revealed – The Royals' best-ever XI as voted for by fans on this site". 22 August 2005. Retrieved 14 June 2006. 
  7. ^ "Colchester boss Parkinson resigns". BBC Sport. 14 June 2006. Retrieved 14 June 2006. 
  8. ^ "Parkinson confirmed as Hull boss". BBC Sport. 29 June 2006. Retrieved 29 June 2006. 
  9. ^ "Colchester 5–1 Hull". BBC Sport. 29 November 2006. Retrieved 4 April 2007. 
  10. ^ "Hull part company with Parkinson". BBC Sport. 4 December 2006. Retrieved 5 December 2006. 
  11. ^ "Parkinson in Huddersfield U-turn". BBC Sport. 4 April 2007. Retrieved 4 April 2007. 
  12. ^ "Parkinson signs new Charlton deal". BBC Sport. 10 April 2007. Retrieved 10 April 2007. 
  13. ^ "Pardew and Charlton part company". BBC Sport. 22 November 2008. Retrieved 23 November 2008. 
  14. ^ "Parkinson to manage Addicks revival". 31 December 2008. Retrieved 31 December 2008. 
  15. ^ Gibbs, Thom (4 January 2011). "Charlton sack manager Phil Parkinson". London: Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 4 January 2011. 
  16. ^ "Charlton Athletic sack manager Phil Parkinson". BBC Sport. 2011-01-04. Retrieved 2011-01-04. 
  17. ^ "Phil Parkinson appointed Bradford City manager". BBC Sport. 28 August 2011. 
  18. ^ "Bradford 1-1 Arsenal (3-2 pens)". BBC Sport. 11 December 2012. 
  19. ^ "Bradford 3–1 Aston Villa". BBC Sport. 8 January 2013. 
  20. ^ "Aston Villa 2–1 Bradford (3–4)". BBC Sport. 22 January 2013. 
  21. ^ "Bantams battered by Swans". ESPN. 25 February 2013. Retrieved 26 February 2013. 
  22. ^ "Bradford 0–5 Swansea". BBC Sport. 24 February 2013. 
  23. ^ "Bradford City boss Parkinson bemoans Duke red card". 24 February 2013. Retrieved 21 May 2013. 
  24. ^ "Football League Awards: Matej Vydra named Player of the Year". BBC Sport. 25 March 2013. Retrieved 21 May 2013. 
  25. ^ "Bradford 3-0 Northampton". BBC Sport. 18 May 2013. Retrieved 21 May 2013. 
  26. ^ "Bradford City: Phil Parkinson delighted by dream start". BBC Sport. 18 May 2013. Retrieved 21 May 2013. 
  27. ^ "Phil Parkinson signs new Bradford City deal". BBC Sport. 22 May 2013. Retrieved 22 May 2013. 
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^ "PARKINSON NAMED FA CUP MANAGER OF THE YEAR BY THE LMA". Bradford City FC. 27 May 2015. Retrieved 1 October 2015. 

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