WILLIAM Shakespeare once wrote: “All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players.”

There are of course, different stages and props for varying times in a person’s life.

For Cherries boss Scott Parker, his current setting is at the top of the second tier of English football.

Having impressed the club’s board to earn the part of head coach at Vitality Stadium in the summer, the former Fulham manager has played a starring role, having now taken centre stage on the south coast.

But wind the clock back 27 years and the former England midfielder, then a talented member of Charlton Athletic’s academy, was actually known as the face of McDonald’s, ahead of the 1994 World Cup.

He was the leading light of an advert for the giant fast-food chain.

His character ‘Jimmy’ was doing kick-ups before being told “we’re off to McDonald’s”. Jimmy then decided to keep working with the ball in the garden.

Ironically, a line from the advert said: “This commercial is dedicated to all those who know what practice makes...”

Parker’s hard work rising through the football ranks in real life saw him play 368 times in the Premier League, as well as making 18 senior appearances for England across a decade-long spell.

But he admits his audition to be in a McDonald’s advert was a challenge like no other he had faced.

Quizzed about his acting cameo by the Daily Echo, Parker said: “I was a 13-year-old little boy for the USA World Cup in 1994.

“McDonald’s, or an advertisement company, rang up Charlton to ask if they had a young boy to do some kick-ups. Charlton put me forward.

“I went to audition in Pineapple Studios in Covent Garden.

“At the back of a queue full of young boys that had been to acting school, mums were doing all their hair and that, and I was a scruffy boy at the back of the queue with my ball in my hand.

“I take it those boys weren’t football – they were more actors. I just went in, did some kick-ups and got the role!

“I was known as the McDonald’s boy for large parts, that was definitely me.”

Asked what it was like to be in such a different field at a young age, the Cherries boss replied: “It was mixed to be honest with you. It was horrendous and it was also very good!

“It was horrendous because I was at an age where I went to an all-boys school in the middle of New Cross in South East London, do you know what I mean?

“In the advert I was the kid called Jimmy. As you can imagine, there were elements which were tough because you get the mick taken out of you every day and it turned into that, really.

“But then on the flip side, it was a brilliant experience. There was a bit of a balance really, but all part and parcel of growing up.”

Asked whether he actually ate the food he advertised in his youth, the former Chelsea star said: “Yeah, I ate McDonald’s quite a bit.

“I don’t eat it anymore but I definitely ate it as a kid – I grew up on it!”

Looking ahead to the present day, Parker’s hunger for success has helped Cherries claim pole position in the Championship during the October international break.

And he admits that, as well as putting his own philosophy into his players, he is also adapting well to life in fresh surroundings.

“I’ve been on my bike a couple of times from here, along the (sea) front and that,” said the 40-year-old.

“I used to come down and watch Harry (Arter) anyway, so I’m familiar with that.

“My children are still down the road, but they come up at the weekends and watch every game, home and away and we often go out after games and go and have something nice to eat as a family.

“They’re enjoying it when they’re down here as well.

“I’ve got four boys, one’s seven so often take him down to the front and he’s buzzing, he thinks he’s on holiday!”

The head coach’s McDonald’s cameo will always be a memory of his childhood – but Parker is eager to deliver something to savour for Cherries fans this campaign.