JON PARKIN’S FALL FROM GRACE
Few were thrilled, to say the least, when Peter Taylor decided that lumpy, slow and dubiously skilled striker Jon Parkin was the right man to helm City’s progress in the Championship, for real money and everything. The memories of City fans who saw him in useless mode for York and laughed at him at Macclesfield were long. But Parkin was immense upon arrival, twatting defenders with aplomb while scoring peachy goals and quickly earning a cult status not seen for a man in his position since Billy Whitehurst was putting the shits up centre halves a generation earlier.
His winner against Leeds United near the end of that campaign seemingly secured his legacy forever, only to ruin it with an appalling lack of self-respect in pre-season that saw him arrive with a good few stones added to his already porcine appearance. Taylor had gone and Phil Parkinson didn’t have a clue what to do about Parkin, as now only his dreadful attitude fitted his nickname of the Beast, and apart from two sharp goals on telly against Sheffield Wednesday (reserving it for the cameras, eh?) he became an embarrassment, a target of fierce criticism not seen since John Moore. So from Whitehurst to Moore in the space of six months.
He fucked off to Stoke on loan as Phil Brown reached the end of his tether but had to come back in an injury crisis, during which time he proved he cared not a jot – including in a crucial game against his new bessies at Stoke, as City equalised in injury time but Parkin was the sole participant not to partake in the wild celebrations. Stoke bought him that summer and quickly they too realised what a fat, lazy waste of space he was, forwarding him to Preston within another year. An astonishing lurch from villain, to icon, to villain in such a short period.