Boro’ do like a returning hero and midfielder Dean Parrett was the latest in a reasonable line of prodigal sons who came home in summer 2019. After three years away from the Lamex, Parrett saw action for AFC Wimbledon and Gillingham. But, clearly, a chance to join forces once more with gaffer Dino Maamria was too good to turn down and back the lad came. Sadly, it all unravelled as Boro’ struggled in the league and ended up with four managers in one season; bottom of the league our final resting place in 2019-20.
He became a key figure in our midfield too, clocking up 70+ appearances in his first spell. A measure of his importance can be taken from our ill-fated game at home to MK Dons in 2013-4. Needing a win in the fight against relegation, Boro’ were two goals to the good when Parrett went off injured on the hour. Not only did we end up losing 3-2, but we lost the midfielder for the rest of the season and finished the campaign bottom of the table.
What if he didn’t get injured, eh?
It was much the same situation in his second spell. Parrett couldn’t get a decent run in the side as injuries kept him sidelined for a fair chunk of the season. At the end of the season with Boro’ needing to take hard decisions, boss Alex Revell couldn’t find a place for him. A clear talent and someone who’d put in a decent shift for us; 81 starts and 19 sub outings taking him to a nice round 100 when the end came. But you feel it should’ve been more…
Dean Parrett: Before Boro’
Parrett first rocked up at Boro’ in October 2013; Graham Westley looking to build a new empire in his third spell in charge. It came after the midfielder was let go by Spurs at the end of his contract. At Spurs, Parrett turned pro; making his debut in February 2009 against Shakhtar Donetsk in the UEFA Cup. The wealth of talent in North London meant it’d be tough for a promising 17-year-old to make much impact, however.
And that’s why he found himself out on loan. First came Aldershot Town, though for one month only. The Shots were keen to keep hold of him, but Parrett still returned to White Hart Lane after just four games at the Rec.
After signing a new Spurs deal, he went on loan to Plymouth Argyle for what was meant to be the whole 2010-1 season. The deal ended in November 2010 by mutual agreement, however. Charlton, Yeovil and Swindon all gave Parrett somewhere to play his football for a short while; the midfielder getting some valuable experience at the very least.
But he found his time at Spurs was up at the end of the 2012-3 season after coming back from Swindon. A surprise? Maybe not. But Parrett was let go nonetheless and was free to find a new home. Football League experience and England honours at U16, U17, U19 and U20 levels? It was a no-brainer to bring him in to Boro’. It was also a bit of a coup by all accounts. The talk was that Derby and Shrewsbury were in for Parrett, so GW did a bit of alright to get his man.