Inaugural Gary Parkinson Trophy Raises £3,364.80

The first ever Gary Parkinson Trophy, held at CMB Football Club in Bolton, raised £3,364.80 for the Gary Parkinson Trust.

The match, which attracted hundreds of spectators to CMB Sports Club on New Tempest Road, was organised by Gary's son Luke and his former schoolmate Alex Ford.

Sponsored by ActiveWin Media, the game took place on Saturday 22nd June, and pitted Luke Parkinson's red team against Alex Ford's blue team, with each player donating £25 to the Gary Parkinson Trust to be involved.

Luke's team included members of his family, plus some of his closest friends. While the blue team was a mixture of former students from St Joseph's RC High School and Sports College in Horwich.

Ex-Preston North End stars David Eyres and Ryan Kidd also represented the blues with former Middlesbrough player Lee Turnbull turning out for the reds'.

It was the reds that came out on top as 4-2 winners on the day with Sam Howell opening the scoring with a mazy run midway through the first half.

A deflected effort from Zak Valentine then put the reds two-up just before the interval and that sent Eric Haslam into the break as the happiest of the two managers.

Changes were aplenty thanks to scorching conditions, but that didn't stop Daniel Whittingham from making it three for the reds early in the second half with a lovely turn and strike inside the 18 yard box.

Gary's son, Luke, then sealed the 4th after beating the offside trap, and at that stage it looked as if the blues were dead and buried.

However, thanks to the addition of 12th man with 10 minutes to go, the blue team bounced back.

Captain Alex Ford was the first to oblige for them with a deft touch inside the six-yard box, before Sam Smyth had a VAR decision go in his favour following a thunderous strike that just crossed the line.

After the match, players and spectators enjoyed a BBQ, which was sponsored by Smyth Ingredients, and a raffle which raised over £600 on its own.

The Gary Parkinson Trust would like to thanks all the players, officials, coaches and volunteers who helped on the day, plus the hundreds of spectators who donated their hard earned cash in support of Gary.

Particular thanks go to CMB Football Club for hosting us, as well as to our sponsors, Active Win Media, Tina Tomlinson Travel Counsellors and Smyths Ingredients.

Thanks again to all those businesses and organisations (listed below) who donated raffle prizes, displayed posters in their shop windows or promoted the event on social media.

It is very much the plan to make this an annual event and the Gary Parkinson Trust looks forward to seeing you all again for the 2020 Gary Parkinson Trophy.