Tag: Barnet

Keith Alexander: 1956-2010

At the time of writing, England are about to kick off against Egypt in their first friendly match of 2010. This is football as a peculiar mix of Hollywood and pantomime, a story that often seems to have very little to do with what goes on during the matches themselves. It’s a world that frequently feels alien. Away from this, however, there is a whole other world of football going on, a world in which people give up their youth, their other aspirations, relationships and families because they believe in the game. Often away from the spotlight and the wilder excesses of the game, the people that inhabit this world are often easily dismissed as “journeymen”, but they are crucial to our narrative of football. We lost one of them last night. Neither Keith Alexander’s playing career nor his managerial career scaled, as some might put it, the heights. As a player, he spent fourteen years in non-league football before going on to enjoy something of an Indian summer in the Football League with Grimsby Town and Mansfield Town, whilst winning a handful of caps at international level for St Lucia. It was not, however, his playing career that marks out his significance in the game, rather the managerial career that followed it, a managerial career that lasted from 1993 until right up until his death at the tragically...

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Barnet Facing The Inevitable?

May 5th 2001 is one of the more memorable days in Football League history for at least the supporters of two small clubs. On the last day of the season in what is now called League Two saw two sides draped in history, Barnet and Torquay United embroiled in a winner takes all relegation match. Barnet stood just a point behind Torquay United as the two clubs met at Barnet’s Underhill stadium on the final day of the season, with the winner retaining their place in the Football League. Three early goals from Jason Rees, Kevin Hill, and David Graham gave Torquay United an unassailable lead – even a second half fightback couldn’t prevent Barnet slipping back into the Football Conference after a 3-2 defeat. A good friend of mine, who saw his Torquay side victorious on the day, has called the day the best of his life and has spoken at length of his admiration for Barnet and their supporters at Underhill. He also recalled the two sets of supporters embracing and swapping shirts at the end of the match, to mark the historic occasion. While Torquay went on to gain promotion to League One a few years later, Barnet battled away in the Conference, a relegation that many would debate re-vitalised the club’s fortunes. Crowds began to rise again, and after a succession of new managers Paul...

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Match Of The Week: Barnet 1-1 Morecambe

One of the least desirable effects of the Football League’s absurdly disproportionate points deductions in League Two has been the comparative lack of competition at the bottom of the table. With Luton Town, Rotherham United and AFC Bournemouth having been deducted a massive amount of points between them over their recent financial difficulties, several clubs seem to be taking the opportunity to use this season as the chance for a break from having to try very hard, safe in the knowledge that they are unlikely to find themselves pulled into a serious relegation battle for this season at least. One such club is Barnet. When Sir John Betjeman wrote lovingly of the outer surburbs of London in “Metroland”, he was writing about the Metropolitan Line, but he could just as easily have been writing about the outer stretches of the Northern Line instead. As the London Underground pulls away from the centre of the city, the gaps between the stations get larger and the trains head out from the tunnels and into the open air and through Suburbia before coming to rest at High Barnet underground station. Barely two hundred yards from the station is Underhill, the less than palatial home of Barnet Football club. Barnet is a strange place – not quite London, yet not quite the Home Counties, which lie a handful of miles to the north....

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