Skip to main content Skip to site footer
History

Team-mates: Geoff Barnard

7 May 2020

As featured in our matchday programme, we continue reflecting on the Iron’s past by speaking to goalkeeper Geoff Barnard.

Following his time as a footballer, Barnard had a year as a steelworker before working for the council twice, either side of a stint at the Forestry Commission, all while residing in Market Rasen.

He played 300 games for the Iron and was with us between 1968 and 1975, and then 1976 and 1977.

BEST MATE…
John Barker. We lived in the same village and I was best man at his wedding so there’s not really anyone else to pick in that category other than him.

BEST TRAINER…
That would be Kevin Keegan. His attitude was exceptional and he had to work very, very hard to get where he got in his football career. We used to train at a place called Ackies Warren in Scunthorpe and used to run around there. Jack Brownsword used to stand on top of a hill looking at us for what was about seven miles. Keegan would be half a mile in front, and George Kerr, Terry Heath and myself would cut across a field and come out half a mile in front of him. His attitude was such that he would catch us up and still beat us. What we didn’t realise is Brownsword had seen us and we’d have to go back in the afternoon and run around again! Every time we went training after that, we had to wear fluorescent bibs so that he could pick us out.

LEADER…
George Kerr. He was an honest player and said what he thought no matter what, and whether you were going to like it or not. He’s still the same today! It was brilliant to play alongside George. He wasn’t big, he wasn’t strong, but he put his total 100 per cent focus and commitment into everything he did.

MOST SKILFUL…
Terry Heath. He was exceptional. We used to call him ‘easy-osy’ because everything came to him so easily and naturally, but only when he wanted it to. He was brilliant in my opinion and I think he was, at the time, even better than Kevin Keegan but not with the same drive. He was really exceptional but only now and then – not every week.

MOST INTELLIGENT…
Well it can’t be me as a goalkeeper because we’re all thick (laughs). It’s got to be the teacher from Grimsby, who was with us in the year we got promotion, Rod Fletcher. He played part-time for us and scored most of the goals when we got promoted. He was a superb guy, a really lovely bloke!

LEAST INTELLIGENT…
I can’t really say who was the least intelligent – so I’ll just say it was me. You’ve got to be thick to play in goal! Mind you, I knew some thick ones who played out on the field as well.

JOKER…
The joker was Harry Kirk. He was a Scottish lad and was really funny. Every other word he spoke and everything he did was a laugh. We couldn’t understand a word he said half the time, but we knew what he was saying was funny. We also had the physio Charlie Strong, who was part-time, and he had private patients when he finished with us. It was in the room next to the dressing room where he’d do this and he’d put a sign up saying “Quiet please, vicar’s daughter being treated”.

BEST PLAYER…
That was Terry Heath as well. We once played at West Brom, when they were playing in the First Division, in a cup game and there was a report that was printed on the Sunday that described him as the best player that had played at that ground all year. That really summed him up.

UNSUNG HERO…
Steve Deere. He never got the credit he deserved. He never moaned or anything and never really got the praise for just how much work he did. I absolutely appreciated the work he did on the pitch and I’ve told him since. It may be 40 years after we stopped playing, but I’ve certainly told him since. He didn’t know it at the time though.

QUICKEST…
That would probably have been Harry Kirk.

BEST TEAM…
It wasn’t when we got promoted, it was the season when we beat Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup. That was brilliant and it certainly stands out in my memory. I can remember that better than what I had for breakfast. I can nearly recall every ground I went to and tend to remember everything about my football days.


Advertisement block