Ian McParland was a pedigree striker with a proven goalscoring record in the Third Division when City took a chance on him in March 1989, paying a six figure fee for his services. McParland was used by manager Eddie Gray as a wide player to provide a supply line for striker partners Keith Edwards and Billy Whitehurst, which was odd given that Ian had himself knocked in 85 goals during the previous three and a half seasons. When Gray left and Colin Appleton took over the reins for 1989/90 season McParland was used as a central striker and contributed four goals in a struggling side. By November 1989 Stan Ternent was City’s new manager and McParland was deployed as an occasional impact substitute, replaced up front by defender-turned-striker Peter Swan. Ian played intermittently in the first half of 1990/91 season but as City drifted towards the foot of the table Ternent used McParland rarely. His final City goal, in his penultimate appearance, came in a January 1991 FA Cup tie against his former club Notts County that City lost 2-5. Ternent had been sacked the week before that Cup tie and when Terry Dolan took over a fortnight later McParland was not favoured and left the Tigers two months later.
Ian John McParland was born in Edinburgh and raised in Tranent, a coal mining town to the east of Edinburgh. McParland had been an apprentice at Sunderland in his teenage years but returned home at 17 and played for local Scottish junior side Ormiston Primrose and work in the mining industry. By 1980 Notts County had been alerted to McParland’s form and he joined the Magpies just before Christmas. For four years McParland was used as a support striker to the first team as Notts ascended to, and spent three seasons in, the First Division. Successive relegations meant that County started 1985/86 seasons in the Third Division and McParland finally won a regular first team start. He rewarded that faith handsomely, top scoring for three consecutive seasons with 21, 27 and 28 goals in all competitions. He was also Notts’ top scorer in 1988/89 with only nine goals, despite leaving for Hull City in the March. Overall, he scored 90 goals in 266 appearances during just over seven years at Meadow Lane.
McParland’s career had waned by the time he left Hull City in March 1991, though a short spell at Walsall yielded six goal in 11 starts. He spent 1991/92 season at Dunfermline Athletic, scoring only four times all season before splitting the 1992/93 season with spells at Lincoln City and Northampton Town. In 1993 Ian headed to Hong Kong where he played for two years. In 1995 he returned to the British Isles and saw out his career with clubs in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
After ending his playing career in 1997, McParland went into football coaching. He was reserve team coach at Nottingham Forest for nearly ten years before taking over the first team reins in February 2006 when Gary Megson was jettisoned. Forest went on a run of wins under the leadership of McParland and joint-manager Frank Barlow, who jointly won the Manager of the Month gong in March 2006. When Colin Calderwood was named Forest manager at the start of the 2006/07 season McParland returned to a coaching role, but he had clearly got a taste for being the number one guy and a year later in October 2007 he was appointed first team manager at local rivals Notts County. He stabilised the Meadow Lane side and had built a strong and successful side as new owners splurged their money on appointing former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson as Director of Football. However in October 2009 McParland was relieved of his services despite County riding high in the Third Division.
A month later Ian was appointed assistant manager at Ipswich Town, working alongside manager Roy Keane. In January 2011 Keane was dismissed and McParland was again elevated to caretaker manager, but only for two games, one of which was lost 0-7. He spent two months as assistant manager at Swindon, moving on again in April 2011. In 2013 he returned to his reserve team manager role at Nottingham Forest. In 2018 he suffered a heart attack, which he survived but limited his ability to continue working in football.
Date/Place of Birth: 4 October 1961, Edinburgh
Hull City First Game: 25 March 1989, Plymouth Argyle H (Division Two), 27 years, 172 days old
Hull City Final Game: 12 January 1991, Sheffield Wednesday H (Division Two), 29 years, 100 days old
Sunderland (1978-1979), Ormiston Primrose (1979-1980), Notts County (1980-1989), Hull City (1989-1991), Walsall (1991), Dunfermline Athletic (1991-1992), Lincoln City (1992), Sliema Wanderers (1992, loan), Northampton Town (1992-1993), Instant-Dict (1993-1994), Eastern AA (1994-1995), Hamilton Academical (1995), Kettering Town (1995), Cliftonville (1995-1996), Dagenham & Redbridge (1996), Berwick Rangers (1996-1997)
Hull City Record
Career: 54 apps, 8 goalsIan McParland
|1989/90||13 (7)||5||-||-||2 (0)||0||-||-||0 (1)||0|
|1990/91||7 (9)||1||0 (1)||1||2 (0)||0||-||-||1 (0)||0|