Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Once I Realised I Wasn't Good Enough, I Decided Physical Education and Teaching Would Be an Angle to Follow So I Took Up That Baton. Boro's Recently Retired Academy Director Dave Parnaby Talks to Philip Tallentire about His Life and Career

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Once I Realised I Wasn't Good Enough, I Decided Physical Education and Teaching Would Be an Angle to Follow So I Took Up That Baton. Boro's Recently Retired Academy Director Dave Parnaby Talks to Philip Tallentire about His Life and Career

Article excerpt

Byline: Dave Parnaby talks to Philip Tallentire

DAVE Parnaby has started a new chapter in his life after 19 hugely successful years with Middlesbrough.

As the club's hugely-respected Academy Director, he oversaw the development of hundreds of talented young footballers.

Not all made the grade, of course, but Boro's reputation for unearthing and polishing young gems is well deserved.

Parnaby retired at the end of the season and is now looking forward to spending more time with his wife Jean, sons Stuart and Ian and his grandchildren.

The 62-year-old recently sat down with Gazette Boro Editor Philip Tallentire to talk about his career. His early years as a sports-mad County Durham schoolboy from a tight-knit mining community who went into teaching and became one of the most respected coaches in the country is a tale well worth telling.

LET'S START WITH YOUR BACKGROUND, DAVE, WHAT SORT OF CHILDHOOD DID YOU HAVE? Dave Parnaby: "I'm a miner's son born and bred in Kelloe and there were three lads in the family including myself.

"I loved my sport and had the same dreams and aspirations as every young person at the time, I wanted to be a professional sportsman.

"I was an addict to the game, any game really. At home the house gate was the wicket for Lord's and then we used to draw the tennis court on the road for Wimbledon and then, when the World Cup came around, we would gather around the green at the village and 20-odd of us would assemble there on a Saturday and Sunday afternoon and smash a ball around.

"I was really, really fortunate with the childhood I had, the up-bringing I had, especially with my mother. "My mam is still alive, she's 89 and still bright as a button. She's the main reason for the person I am, she set the standards, she looked after us all. It was my mam who moulded us all and my dad was a rough, tough miner who worked long shifts working on the coalface. But I'm very proud of my background, I would never change anything."

YOU WENT INTO TEACHING AS AN ADULT, WAS EDUCATION A MAJOR PART OF YOUR CHILDHOOD? DP: "I was so involved with sport that education took a back seat but you eventually realise what is important.

"It was important to my family, to my mam and dad, that we all had a good education. But more than that it was our core values, our family values, how to say please, how to say thank you, and being respectful, that's all part of your education."

HOW CLOSE WERE YOU TO BECOMING A PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALLER? DP: "I didn't step into the schoolboy environment, I was just here, there and everywhere and just watched and played. I trialled at Bury, at Middlesbrough, but never quite good enough.

"It wasn't tough, though, it was a thoroughly enjoyable time.

"I was nervous, a local village lad getting on a bus or a train, travelling to these places was quite daunting, it was a quite nervous time, but it didn't worry me, the outcome didn't worry me, life went on."

WAS MISSING OUT ON A CAREER AS A FOOTBALLER HARD TO TAKE? DP: "The rewards that are available now to somebody who is good enough to go on and make a career out of the game at Premier League level - you are guaranteed financial security for the rest of your life.

"In those days it wasn't like that, it was just an opportunity. You knew life was going to be hard and it was a job like any other job and unfortunately I wasn't good enough and that's the bottom line.

"Once I realised I wasn't good enough, I decided physical education and teaching would be an angle to follow so I took up that baton and ran with it and I've never regretted that."

WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO TEACHING? DP: "As a teacher you are a standard setter, you're the person who sets the standards for the children and I hope I've carried that forward at Middlesbrough and the standards that we've set. I think that's part of the success at Middlesbrough. …

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