Parker 'left his heart at Chelmsford'
PAUL Parker admits he “left his heart at Chelmsford” when he took over Welling in 2003.The former England and Manchester United star was the popular boss for City in the days when, like nomads, they wandered around Essex with no home to call their own.
PAUL Parker admits he “left his heart at Chelmsford” when he took over Welling in 2003.
The former England and Manchester United star was the popular boss for City in the days when, like nomads, they wandered around Essex with no home to call their own.
Back then, from 2001-2003, with their home at New Lodge, Billericay, some nine miles outside Chelmsford, Parker put out the cones and worked his socks off alongside chairman Peter Stroud, as City leapt from one problem to another.
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It was a testing time for all connected with the big Essex club.
But Parker doesn't regret a moment of it.
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“There wasn't much money about when I was boss,” Parker said.
“It was all a bit of a learning curve for me to be honest, but I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Chelmsford.
“The only disappointment I have is that I never managed to carry on doing what I felt we were going to achieve. And when I did leave, I should have stopped altogether. Instead I went to Welling and quite honestly I left my heart at Chelmsford.”
Parker still lives just outside Chelmsford and still loves the
club, although he admits he has never been back to watch them
since the day he left.
Today he is a co-commentator on Setanta Sports, ironically commentating on the Blue Square Premier games. He is not surprised to see Chelmsford flying high.
“I don't think anyone in the non-league game is surprised to see Chelmsford doing well,” Parker added.
“There is certainly more money there now than when I was in charge and Chelmsford have always been regarded as a big club and the fan base is superb.
“I hope they go on to the Blue Square Premier next season.”
Currently leading the way in Blue Square South, Chelmsford have the formidable AFC Wimbledon breathing down their necks.
Both clubs can boast fan bases bigger than many League Two clubs, but it is the Clarets who Parker is hoping to be commentating on soon.
“Part of my commentating involves the Setanta Shield and Chelmsford are still in that. So who knows, I might yet get to commentate on my old club.”
While Paul is no more part of the set-up at City, there is still a Parker running around in a Claret shirt - Paul's young son Jake is part of the successful Chelmsford City Colts Under-12s.