Scott Parker is an English former player who played as a midfielder. He is now a football manager, and his recent job was managing Bournemouth. Some claim he’s overrated as a player; others maintain that he did not get enough credit.
Stardom In The Early Years
Scott Matthew Parker, to give him his full name, was born in the borough of Lambeth, in inner southwest London. Lambeth is associated with politicians and actors such as former Prime Minister John Major and former James Bond star Roger Moore.
Therefore it comes as a bit of a surprise that it was through ‘acting’ that Scott Parker’s football ability was first showcased.
At 13, Scott was the star of a British Television advertisement for MacDonalds as part of their USA World Cup 1994 campaign. In the commercial, the tall, blonde-haired stick thing youngster played ‘keepie uppie.’
However, Scott’s football talent wasn’t limited to showboating for an American food outlet. He had genuine talent that would see him star for his country and make two multi-million pound moves.
Charlton Athletic Capture The Keepie-Up Kid
Parker was a promising schoolboy player and graduated from the now-extinct Football Association School of Excellence, Lilleshaw as a kid. A host of local sides were after him, but the then Division One side Charlton Athletic captured the ‘keepie-up kid’ after his graduation.
And it wasn’t long before Parker made his professional debut for Charlton, coming on as a 17-year-old apprentice in a 0-0 draw against Bury on August 23rd, 1997.
He quickly signed professional forms with the club two months later. But Scott’s football career had yet to take off, and he was to remain one of football’s best-kept secrets for a few more years, making only random appearances in the Addicks first-team.
The Canary Returns And Rules The Roost
Having won promotion to the Premiership, Charlton manager Alan Curbishley decided to loan out Scott Parker to 1st Division Norwich City to give the youngster some much-needed first-team experience away from the pressures of the top flight.
The player agreed and joined the Canaries in October 2000.
Impressing and making six appearances – scoring one goal, two months later, however, Curbishley was forced to recall Scott to cover for the injured Irish International Mark Kinsella.
Parker was flung straight into the first team, and his spell at Carrow Road seemed to have worked wonders, going on to make a further 20 appearances that year for Charlton and establishing himself in the side.
He had played so well that the experienced Kinsella couldn’t regain his place. Following his fine vain of form, where he put in several outstanding displays, Parker was made Charlton Athletic captain the next season in 2002-03.
Further recognition came in the shape of an England call-up for a November friendly against Denmark, a game he didn’t feature in, but an English Cap wasn’t far off for the midfield man.
Nor was transferred speculation linking him with big money moves away from the Valley. To ward off would-be suitors, Alan Curbishley handed his rising star a 5-year deal, but the lure of bigger prizes proved too strong for both the player and the club.
Scott Parker Joins The Russian Revolution
Parker’s tenacious tackling, relentless stamina, and never-say-die attitude saw him catch the attention of Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, who paid £10m to take him across London to Stamford Bridge in January 2004.
New Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich was splashing the cash in the January swoop, a day before the transfer window closed.
Five months later, Parker was voted PFA Young Player of the Year by his fellow professionals.
Despite the fierce competition with a Chelsea midfield already containing Frank Lampard and Claude Makelele, Parker was confident of his ability to succeed at Stamford Bridge.
The Blue Soldier Joins The Toon Army
By then, an England international, Parker, suffered a broken metatarsal playing against former club Norwich in December 2004, causing him to lose his place in the Chelsea first-team.
Scott never had a chance to cement his place in the center of midfield for Chelsea and was constantly deployed on the right wing.
With the arrival of Dutch winger Arjen Robben, Portuguese star Tiago, and new manager José Mourinho, Parker fell further down the Chelsea pecking order.
Salt was rubbed into the wounds when Parker broke his metatarsal bone ironically against his former club Norwich on December 18th, 2004.
Chelsea again spent and brought in midfielder Jiri Jarosik in the January transfer window.
With his opportunities limited by the fierce competition for places in west London, he moved to Newcastle for £6.5m in June 2005.
Scott Parker arrived at Newcastle United in the summer of 2005 as the midfield man we have been missing for years. With a fine engine, good strength, ball-playing skills, and leadership qualities, Toon fans were hoping he could become our very own midfield dynamo.
Parker did become a revelation at St James’ Park, being made captain and earning a call into the full England squad in September 2006.
In all, he would make 73 appearances for the Magpies, scoring six goals and lifting the UEFA Intertoto Cup in the summer of 2006.
Scott Parker The English International
Scott Parker has played for England at every schoolboy level, under-18 level, under-21 level, and Senior level.
However, Scott has yet to set the International scene on fire, awarded only two caps thus far. England manager Sven Goran Eriksson, impressed with his performances at the Valley, handed Parker his first England cap on January 16th, 2003, against Denmark.
England lost the game 3-2. He would go on to represent his country eighteen times throughout his career.
During the UEFA Euro 2012 tournament, he started every match for England, helping the team win against Sweden and Ukraine and draw with France before Italy knocked them out in the quarterfinals.
Moving Back South
West Ham United moved to bring Scott Parker to the Boleyn Ground in the summer of 2007, paying Newcastle £7m to sign the England man on a five-year contract.
The midfielder’s debut was delayed by a knee ligament injury that meant he did not pull on a claret and blue shirt until the Carling Cup third-round win over Plymouth Argyle in September 2007.
Parker’s initial campaign in east London, 2007/08, was punctuated by a recurrence of his knee problems, restricting him to 20 appearances in all competitions. However, he did net a dramatic late winner in the 2-1 Barclays Premier League success at Middlesbrough.
Into 2008/09 and Parker shook off his injury concerns to enjoy a stellar campaign at the heart of the Hammers midfield, taking him past the 50-appearance mark for the club.
After an impressive 2008/09 campaign, he was voted Hammer of the Year by the club’s supporters. Parker enjoyed a strong season, making 32 appearances in the league and cup.
New Challenge At Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham and West Ham announced in August 2011 that Parker had transferred to Spurs for a fee estimated at £5.5 million.
By playing for Tottenham Hotspur, Scott Parker became the only Premier League player to represent clubs in the north, east, south, and west of London. The 2011–12 season ended with Parker being named Tottenham’s Player of the Year.
After Harry Redknapp was sacked and André Villas-Boas was appointed manager, Parker became an outsider to the squad.
His Last Move To Fulham
For an undisclosed fee, Parker signed a three-year contract with Fulham in August 2013. After four seasons, June 2017 marked the end of Parker’s playing career.
Scott Parker Facts And Figures
Full Name: Scott Matthew Parker
Birthplace: Lambeth, England
- Charlton Athletic 1997–2004
- Chelsea 2004–2005
- Newcastle United 2005–2007
- West Ham United 2007–2011
- Tottenham Hotspur 2011–2013
- Fulham 2013–2017
Total Appearances: 486 matches (31 goals)
- England (18 appearances)
Scott Parker Teams Coached:
- Fulham 2019–2021
- Bournemouth 2021–2022
- 1999–2000: Football League First Division Champions
- 2006: UEFA Intertoto Cup Winners
- 1998–99: Charlton Athletic Young Player of the Year
- 2002–03: Charlton Athletic Player of the Year
- 2003–04: PFA Young Player of the Year
- 2008–09, 2009–10, and 2010–11: West Ham United Hammer of the Year:
- February 2011 and November 2011: Premier League Player of the Month
- 2010–11: FWA Footballer of the Year
- 2011: England Player of the Year
- 2011–12: PFA Premier League Team of the Year
- 2019-20: EFL Championship play-offs winners
- 2021–22: EFL Championship Runners-up