Always remembered as the stand-in who won the UEFA Cup for Spurs in 1984, Tony Parks was a solid keeper, who failed to capitalise on his sudden-found fame to make a career for himself at the club. An athletic and brave keeper, Parks failed to keep the momentum of his career going after that high-point and faded into the background at the club before moving around to play for a large number of clubs.
Joining Spurs as a youngster, Tony was a regular among the youth and reserve teams before he made it into the first team squad as a back-up keeper for Ray Clemence. The veteran keeper was as fit as a fiddle and rarely missed a game, so Parks' opportunities were virtually non-existent, until Clem got a bad injury in an FA Cup tie at Fulham in January 1984. Graham Roberts took over between the posts in that game, but Parks found himself as the first team goalie for a few weeks until Clemence was reinstalled as first choice.
Unexpectedly, Clemence sustained a training ground injury that severed a tendon in his finger, which let Parks take the gloves and impress with fine performances in the UEFA Cup semi-final ties against Hadjuk Split. Ray returned to fitness, but Keith Burkinshaw kept faith with Parks and left Clemence on the bench for both legs of the final.
With the first game ending 1-1 in Brussels, the return saw Anderlecht take the lead, with a Graham Roberts goal levelling the tie on the night and taking it into extra time. No further score meant that the final would be decided on penalties. Taking his place in the goal at the Paxton Road end, Parks kept out Morten Olsen's spot-kick and when Danny Thomas missed the opportunity to win the trophy for Tottenham by having his penalty saved by Jacques Munaron, Arnor Gudjohnsen stepped up to take the last penalty of the five for the Belgian side. As the shot went to Parks' right, he dived full length to push the ball wide and the crowd went mad and the players swamped the 21 year old who had won the UEFA Cup for Tottenham.
When Tottenham signed Bobby Mimms, Parks dropped down the order among the goalkeeping ranks and moved to join ex-Spur Steve Perryman, who was manager at Brentford, where Tony once more enjoyed Cup success with a run to the Sixth Round of the FA Cup in 1989. When he left Griffin Park, Parks moved around other London clubs, before trekking to Scotland and Northern England playing for lower league teams and eventually dropping into the non-league ranks. Was chosen as a coach to the young England goalkeepers under Ray Clemence, who was head of goalkeeping with the national side.
Following a change in management at White Hart Lane, Harry Redknapp brought Parks back to Tottenham from the FA in November 2008 after he needed a goalkeeping coach who had a better working knowledge of the English game.