n FORMER Bolton Wanderers star Gary Parkinson, pictured, has celebrated his 45th birthday at home with his family.

The retired footballer suffered a major stroke at his home in Westhoughton in September, 2010, and was left with Locked-In Syndrome.

The syndrome left him unable to speak, feed himself or walk and communicate only by blinking.

Determined to get Gary back home, his wife Deborah and three children, along with other family and friends rallied around to raise about £100,000 to renovate the home so he could return.

Before Christmas he was able to leave The Priory Highbank Centre in Walmersley Road, Bury, where he had been receiving around-the-clock care.He continues to receive care at his home.

Following his stroke, he was recruited as a scout for Middlesbrough when his former teammate, Tony Mowbray, was in charge, watching DVDs of players and using a system of blinks to identify worthwhile targets.