Ray Parlour’s Net Worth
Throughout the nineties and 2000’s he won the hearts and minds of Arsenal and Middlesbrough fans owing to his hard work, flowing locks and ability on the pitch. Now he’s a regular on one of the biggest sports radio shows around but what is Ray Parlour’s net worth? Here we look at everything from his early life to his career and on to his cars and more.
So, what is Ray Parlour’s net worth?
As of the time of writing, Ray Parlour’s net worth stands at handsome £1.5m. That money has been earned through football, media and business ventures. Parlour isn’t shy of spending a fair bit of his wonga out and about either!
Parlour earned the nickname ‘The Romford Pele’ during his playing career; it paid tribute to his footballing ability and the place of his birth – Romford, which is a town on the edge of East London. Parlour was born there to his parents back in March 1973 and grew up in the area with West Ham’s training ground extremely near by. In fact, his father, who sadly passed away in early 2021, was an avid Hammers fan.
Despite that, it was actually Fulham that first offered Parlour a route into football. Parlour spent his youth playing football with his two older brothers, which is something he cites as to what made him such a formidable player to get the better of and as a nine-year-old he was spotted. It’s believed that Fulham had sent a youth scout to watch a now unknown Sunday League player but, instead, Parlour caught the eye playing for Cloparcro.
Parlour, whose favourite player as a kid was Bryan Robson, spent the vast majority of his adolescence with Fulham but rumours began to swirl about the long term viability of the club. That encouraged Arsenal to make a move for a now 16-year-old Parlour. The rest as they say, is history.
Making an impression at Arsenal
After joining the Gunners, Parlour spent three years in the youth set up before finally breaking into the first team in the 1991/92 season after catching the eye of George Graham. It wasn’t all plain sailing for the midfielder though as he gave away a penalty on his debut; the new £300 per week contract wasn’t going to soften that blow much. The debut mistake is not something that lives long in the memory; thankfully, Parlour remained with the first team and had plenty of playing time. It wasn’t until Arsene Wenger arrived though that Parlour really began to star.
Parlour cites Wenger as a huge influence on his career from a health and fitness and tactical standpoint. It’s little surprise really that he leans in that direction though with the vast majority of his success coming under the Frenchman. Parlour was in the team that won the 1993 FA Cup and League Cup and was on the bench as the Gunners triumphed over a Parma side starring Gianfranco Zola in the Cup Winner’s Cup in 1993/94. Although those cup wins would have been positive experiences for Parlour, his contributions to reaching the finals could be questioned.
That argument can’t be made for his time under Wenger. Parlour played a huge role as Arsenal famously clinched the 1998 League and FA Cup double; in fact, he was named Arsenal’s Player of the Season. Similar can be said about his involvement in the 2001/02 glory of another double with Parlour, who rebuffed a ‘double your money’ deal at Sunderland to stay at Highbury on £20k per week that summer, making a total of 40 appearances that season. Parlour spent another couple of years with the Gunners and signed off in the perfect way. How? As part of the Invincibles, that’s how!
After the Invincibles season, Parlour begrudgingly left Arsenal to join Middlesbrough in a deal worth just shy of £2m. He was part of a revolution on Teeside with former Chelsea striker Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink, ex-Barca man Michael Reiziger and one of the best Australian footballers of all time Mark Viduka already signed up. The reason given by Parlour was based on wanting to play more often; the contract he signed proved that too. When all factored in, his Arsenal contract was worth around £1.5m per annum; that’s circa £29k per week. His deal at Boro was reportedly a third less than that taking his weekly wage to sub £20k.
Initially, things worked out quite well in the North East. Middlesbrough finished in seventh place in Parlour’s first year to secure a UEFA Cup spot and Parlour was happy to be playing regularly; he made 41 appearances. Things slowed up the next year though with injuries taking their toll. Eventually, he left Boro and signed on a free with relegation threatened Hull in the Championship. He made 15 appearances for the Tigers and helped to keep them up but then called time on his career. Or so we thought. A few years later, in 2012, Parlour joined Wembley in their quest for a magical FA Cup moment along with a few other ex-players; it didn’t end in glory.
A short lived but honoured England career
Parlour isn’t the man you think of when you think about England and the late 1990s; he did, however, earn a total of 10 caps. It would have been many more too had he and Glenn Hoddle not had a bizarre falling out with Parlour’s “short, backs and sides” joke aimed at faith healer Eileen Drewery not hitting the spot with Hoddle. Fast forward through some missed opportunity though and Parlour was back in the fold under Kevin Keegan.
Parlour wasn’t exactly what you’d describe as a ‘bad lad’ off the pitch but his career did see a few indiscretions. In the most part, the stories he and his old teammates pedal are those of pranks and laughs. One incident early in his career though might explain how he largely kept on the straight and narrow. Parlour had barely broken into the first team but his personality shone and the senior players took him under their wing; that led to an infamous night out with Parlour admitting to a boozy assault.
What happened we hear you ask. Well, the club were out in Hong Kong before on their last night of a tour and Parlour, who wasn’t the person who initiated the ruckus, ended up in a foreign prison as his teammates flew home. A couple of days, two weeks wages and a £13k solicitor bill later, Parlour had learnt his lesson. £13k doesn’t sound a lot by Premier League wages nowadays; he only earned around £16k per year at the time though!
Life after football
If football is the best job in the world then talking about it is the second best; that’s the view of the Romford Pele at least. After hanging up his boots, a role at now defunct station Setanta Sports presented itself to help massage Ray Parlour’s net worth but, evidently, he prefers radio. Parlour is now best known for his role on Talksport where he regularly guests alongside the likes of Alan Brazil and Ally McCoist. With the former of those two, he also has a podcast ‘Pub Talk’; that sees the duo get under the hood with sporting stars both in regards to their careers and any mental barriers they’ve overcome.
Beyond the media side of things, Parlour has also dabbled in other areas. He’s been the face of sports bookie BetBull, worked the circuit as an after dinner speaker and even ran a pub. Based on the stories they tell – and on Parlour’s social media – that young lad that enjoyed a drink on tour hasn’t changed all that much; he just gets in less trouble these days!
Ray Parlour’s car collection
Parlour came from a modest background and his early cars symbolise that in many ways. VW Golfs, Ford Sierra’s and Mini Metros have all occupied a spot in Parlour’s garage over the years but, then again, so have a few nicer motors. He first broke into the elite car market with a Mercedes CLK before picking up a CL 55 AMG; it cost him a rather eyewatering £95k.
We don’t want to spend too long on Parlour’s personal life but his divorce back in 1998 is hard not to mention; especially because of the clear knock on to his wealth. There was a lot of back and forwards between Parlour and his wife, Karen. After a lot of back and forwards, the final settlement saw Parlour ordered to pay the mother of his three children £2.2m over five years.
There you have it, your answer to Ray Parlour’s net worth – “just” the £1.5m.