Now in charge at Sunderland, the 52-year-old spent just over three years at the Whites’ helm.
His tenure will probably be best remembered for the financial problems encountered by the club, and eventual administration, but for a time immediately after promotion from League One in 2017 there was genuine hope that Anderson could find investment.
That quickly petered out, and the remaining two years of Parkinson’s time at Bolton were spent fending off perpetual issues off-the-field.
Speaking ahead of Wanderers’ visit to the Stadium of Light on Boxing Day Parkinson wondered whether he would have remained in the North West had Anderson carried through with his promise to find backers.
“Perhaps, yes,” he said. “In the second year when we’d stayed in the Championship the club was ready to be sold and had a potential buyer. That particular deal didn’t happen. And that was the club’s chance to really push on. It was such a shame the owner didn’t take that opportunity to sell.
“Obviously the problems since then are well-documented. I am just delighted that the club has survived and that Sharon Brittan and the consortium showed such resilience to get the deal over the line and save such a great football club.
“I have got some good memories there, promotion and staying in the Championship the first year. It was obviously tainted by the final year with the financial problem, etc.
“But I am looking forward to coming up against Bolton. It’ll be a tough game but it’s one we’re ready for.”
Although Parkinson parted with Bolton on amicable terms, he is keen to put one over on his former club.
“There’s no sentiment whatsoever, it’s all about Sunderland what we do,” he added. “I feel preparations have gone well to this stage and we’ll look forward to the game.”
Parkinson has come under pressure since taking the reins at Sunderland and has won just two of his first 13 games.
He is confident, however, that the criticism will die down if the Black Cats can get a consistent run of results together in the Christmas period.
“We have got to aim in this four-game block to get back into the top six in the division, or be very, very close to it, to take us into January,” he said.