As Brighouse Town embarked on the 2016-2017 season, manager Paul Quinn looked to strengthen his team for the challenges ahead and one of those players brought in was ex-professional Luke Parkin.
The 21-year old from Lightcliffe attended Hipperholme and Lightcliffe High School and at the age of 16 took a two-year scholarship with Leeds United.
At the age of 18, Parkin then turned professional, playing in Leeds United’s Under 21 team. Although he never stepped out for the Leeds first team, he was offered a two-year contract and then had another 12 months with the team before being released in April this year.
The striker actually began playing at Leeds United from the age of eight, spanning 14 years in all, as well as playing for Northowram from the age of six.
In his first year at Leeds as a professional, he was loaned out Guiseley before returning to the club. In April of this year Parkin’s ties with Leeds were finally severed and he was given a trial by Sheffield Wednesday.
After that failed, Parkin spent pre-season at AFC Flyde, near Blackpool and had a short spell at Gainsborough Trinity, before heading to his local club Brighouse Town.
“I was a massive Leeds fan so to be able to play for them was an honour and I loved my two-year scholarship,” said Parkin.
Since going from full-time football to part-time with Brighouse, he is now working for Pro Vision Sports coaching at schools and running football camps in school holidays.
He also works for Premier Coaching, doing the same role, for a company owned by former Leeds United player Leigh Bromby.
“I knew Mark Booth through a family friend and sent him a text message, then had a conversation with Paul (Quinn) and that is how I came to Brighouse,” he said of a summer move that revived his playing career, albeit in non-league.
“I also know my current team-mates Jimmy Pollard and Ben Atkinson, so I thought I would try my local club and at least keep my fitness up if I could play for them,” he added.
“Everyone has made me feel really welcome and it’s a great set of lads.
“We started the season fantastically well and despite recent results on the pitch there is no tension within the team. Everyone is positive and we all talk about how we can get back on track and throw ideas around.
“I am really enjoying my time with the club. It’s a different experience for me.
“With the Under 21’s at Leeds we could be playing in front of a crowd of say 30 people just made up of family but its great to be playing in front of hundreds and some really passionate supporters.”