Scott Matthew Parker (born 13 October 1980) is an English footballer who currently plays for West Ham United. He is a midfielder, who has represented England at every level; from under-15 to senior, for whom he has made one start and two substitute appearances. He won his three England caps while playing for three different clubs. He is known as a tough tackling central midfielder who likes to get forward.
Parker was born in Lambeth, Greater London, and attended Haberdashers' Aske's Hatcham College in New Cross Gate. As a child, he supported Tottenham Hotspur and as a 13 year old, he appeared in a well-known British advert for McDonald's, in which he played keepie uppie during their 1994 World Cup campaign. Parker is a graduate of the Football Association's now-defunct national School of Excellence at Lilleshall. He is married with three sons.
After graduating from Lilleshall, he signed for Charlton Athletic as a trainee and made his debut as a substitute against Bury in the first division on 23 August 1997, a game which ended 0-0. He signed his first professional contract with the club two months later. Over the next couple of years he made only a few sporadic substitute appearances for Charlton, although he was one of the brightest prospects in English football. In October 2000 Charlton, now in the Premier League, loaned Parker to First Division side Norwich City for two months to give the England under-21 some first team experience. On his return to The Valley Parker was immediately called into the first team to replace injured captain Mark Kinsella. Parker played so well for Charlton that, upon his return from injury, Kinsella could not regain his place in the starting lineup. Parker soon became the linchpin of Charlton's midfield, combining tenacious tackling with an ability to carry the ball quickly from defence to attack and play telling passes, creating many chances for his teammates. There was talk that the Addicks would mount a serious challenge for Champions League qualification. He played 145 times for Charlton, scoring ten goals.