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The Barry Fry Years - Part Two
1983/84 season

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Click on the years above to navigate through the history.

So far we have chartered the history since the formation of the club, up until the end of the 82/83 season.

We would be grateful to anyone who can add to anything written here. Apart from pointing out any inaccuracies, we would be pleased to receive contributions so that this history can be "fleshed out" even more. For that reason, the details on this page are likely to be changed as more information is unearthed.

Please contact us if there is anything you can help us with.

Thanks For Nothing, Torquay!

In the close season of 1983 there was controversy surrounding Barnet's top-scorer - Colin Barnes. He had a one month trial at Torquay during which he scored three goals in pre-season friendlies. A permanent deal was on the cards, with figures between £15,000 to £20,000 being mentioned. Then Torquay announced that they already considered him to be their player and had no intention of paying anything for him.

Obviously Barnet went to the FA, but it turned out that his contract with Barnet might have had holes in, so the FA lost interest. In November, Torquay offered a derisory amount, which was rejected by Barnet. Instead, Barnet threatened court action, although this was never pursued.

God Makes His Debut

The 83/84 season started in customary style. The squad had been rebuilt, with nine new players overall. The first four matches produced one point, and Barnet were once again in the basement of the table. The fans let fly with anti-Fry criticism from the terraces.

Then Barnet had a midweek home game against Trowbridge in the Alliance Trophy. A player by the name of Nicky Evans, who had been signed from Kettering but had been injured, made his debut. Something clicked, and Barnet ran away with a 10-0 victory. Barnet played Boston next and lost.

Shortly afterwards, Barnet were once again shown indifference by the authorities when they complained about a game against Yeovil being abandoned. Barnet had been winning 1-0, but the game was abandoned due to a goalpost being broken. (This was because Barnet player - Steve Ragan - had collided with it, and the Yeovil keeper then swung on the crossbar at every opportunity!) Barnet's appeal was based on the fact that there had been a spare set of goal posts available, but had not been brought into use. The appeal fell on deaf-ears, and the replay was ordered. For once, however, lady luck was on Barnet's side and they won the replay 4-2! (How come the sweetest results are always 4-2?)

Fry Stays

Aside from this the season improved and by December Barnet were above Enfield, who were more accustomed to being top of the table in those days! Christmas saw a double-header against Enfield. Barnet beat them at Southbury Road on Boxing Day, followed by a further victory at Underhill at the return game. The Barnet fans, in high spirits as they cruised over Enfield, forgot about their previous feelings for Fry and he rejected two offers from other clubs, to stay at Barnet.

This was accompanied by success in the various cups, including forcing Third Division table-toppers - Bristol Rovers to a replay in the FA Cup, and reaching the Quarter Finals of the FA Trophy, only to be knocked out by the eventual winners. Barnet finished ninth in the table - their best position since the Alliance League was formed.

Player of the Year - Gary Phillips.

At last, Barry's wheeling and dealing seemed to be paying off. Players included - Peter Brown, John Margerrison, John Docker, Ian Ferguson, Eddie Stein, Steve Mahoney, Stewart Atkins, Kevin Millett, Gary Phillips and Nicky Evans. Over the next ten years Nicky Evans went on to become a legend at Underhill. He embodied the atmosphere of determination and style that was to take Barnet into the league in years to come.

Next Page

Off the pitch, trouble was brewing. For some time, there had been occasions where there had not been enough money to pay the players. By the autumn of 1984 the problem had become so acute that there was pressure to sell some of the players as creditors were threatening legal action...

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