Seven-times Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong has sent a message of support to Blackpool Head of Youth Gary Parkinson.
Parkinson is currently undergoing rehabilitation treatment following a major stroke which left him suffering from ‘locked-in syndrome’, a condition where a person is aware and awake but cannot move, speak or swallow due to paralysis of their muscles.
Armstrong himself has experience of battling life threatening cancer and after learning of the plight of the popular Parkinson, he wrote to the Blackpool coach with a simple message of encouragement;
“Stay positive Gary, we are all thinking of you.”
This show of support has also been backed up by Blackpool’s players and coaching staff with players like Brett Ormerod visiting Parkinson to show their support.
Although Parkinson still has a long way to go on the road to recovery his family have been delighted to see him start to communicate with his eyes.
His wife, Debbie says visits from friends and football colleagues are an important part of her husband’s rehabilitation and the messages of support give them immense strength.
Mrs Parkinson added: “It amazes me how football unties people from all over the world. The messages of support give us strength.”
Blackpool Manager Ian Holloway added, “All our thoughts continue to be with Gary and his family. He is a terrific man.”