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26 June 2013

A four day bike ride will be held in support of former PNE star Gary Parkinson who suffers from Locked-in syndrome.

Locked-in syndrome means that Gary can only communicate with his family and friends through eye movements following a stroke in September 2010 which left him with complete paralysis of all voluntary muscles in his body apart from his eyes. 

The Tour4Parky bike ride will allow fans of Gary from all his former clubs to get behind the cause and raise money to support his rehabilitation, he has already come along way but there is a lot of progress still to be made. 

The father-of-three spent two years in hospital following his stroke and only came home in December 2012, thanks to his own strength and the support from his family and the Gary Parkinson Foundation.

The ride itself will start from Bloomfield Road on 4th July and it will end in the former North End defender’s home town of Thornaby-on-Tees on Sunday 7th July, after cycling to all of Gary’s former clubs en route.

Day one will see the riders leave the home of Blackpool FC at 10am and arrive here at Deepdale at round 12 noon.

While the riders have a lunch break, there will be opportunities for photographs, and chance to show your support for the foundation. 

Parky made 88 league appearances for the Lilywhites over the four years that he was here and played under current Manchester United manager David Moyes. 

He unfortunately missed out on PNE’s promotion season in 1999/2000 having injured his cruciate ligament the previous season that kept him out for 12 months. 

However, the defender returned to action the following season as North End enjoyed playing their football back in the second tier of English football under Moyes.

More than 20 cyclists will then leave Deepdale and head to the Reebok Stadium at around 1pm and are expected to arrive at the home of Bolton Wanderers at around 4pm. 

The riders will then reconvene at 10am on 5th July at the Reebok to start the next day of the tour which will see them head to Lancashire rivals Burnley.

They are due to arrive at Turf Moor at around 12pm and again there will be opportunities to support the cause while they have a lunch break and cheer the riders on for the next leg.

Gary made over 150 appearances for the Clarets over his three years at the club and is regarded highly among their supporters after scoring the winning goal in a play-off final to secure promotion in 1994. 

The final leg of the second day will be a trip from Turf Moor to Gargrave, making part of the journey towards the Riverside Stadium in Middlesbrough. 

The more experienced cyclists will relish the challenge on the third day on 6th July, with a tough hills section travelling from Gargrave at 10am and spending the day cycling to Scotch Corner. 

Day four, the final stint, will ensure the cyclists complete the tour of the star’s former clubs as they are expected to arrive at Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium from Scotch Corner at between 12-2pm. 

There will then be an option to attend an after-party after arriving at Middlesbrough FC. The party will be at the Griffin Pub in Gary’s home town of Thornaby-on-Tees if you want to join the riders.

Any support for the cause, whether it is by being there on the day or simply a donation via the website, all would be greatly appreciated in support of a great cause and a great man. 

The best way to donate would be via where you will find a donation section, and much more information on the ride and the man himself. 

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