Barry Fry

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This article is about the English football manager. For the Canadian curler, see Barry Fry (curler).
Barry Fry
BarryFry.png
Fry at Upton Park, May 2011
Personal information
Full name Barry Francis Fry
Date of birth (1945-04-07) 7 April 1945 (age 69)
Place of birth Bedford, England
Playing position Inside forward
Club information
Current team
Peterborough United
Director of Football
Youth career
1960–1962 Manchester United
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1962–1964 Manchester United 0 (0)
1964–1965 Bolton Wanderers 3 (1)
1965–1966 Luton Town 6 (0)
1966–1967 Leyton Orient 13 (0)
1967–1968 Gravesend & Northfleet ? (?)
1968 Leyton Orient ? (?)
1968–1969 Romford ? (?)
1969–1972 Bedford Town ? (?)
1972–197? Dunstable Town ? (?)
1973–1974 St Albans City 23 (1)
Teams managed
1974–1976 Dunstable Town
1976–1977 Hillingdon Borough
1977–1978 Bedford Town
1978–1985 Barnet
1985–1986 Maidstone United
1986–1993 Barnet
1993 Southend United
1993–1996 Birmingham City
1996–2005 Peterborough United
2006 Peterborough United (joint caretaker)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Barry Francis Fry (born 7 April 1945 in Bedford, England) is an English football manager. A former Manchester United apprentice as a winger, his playing career involved brief spells with Bolton Wanderers, Luton Town and Leyton Orient, before he retired prematurely due to injury.

He has managed Dunstable Town, Bedford Town, Maidstone United, Southend United, Barnet, Birmingham City and, most recently, Peterborough United. Fry is currently director of football at Peterborough.

Career[edit]

In 1974, Dunstable Town received the financial backing of Keith Cheesman.[1] He hired a young Barry Fry as manager, and gave him money to build up a strong team; indeed in his autobiography, Fry claims that he was often given blank, signed cheques. Of note, both Jeff Astle and George Best were brought in to play for the team with Best playing two pre-season games to promote interest in the club.[2] Dunstable were promoted under Fry, but he was later dismissed by Cheeseman's successor, Billy Kitt, after a poor performance in the Southern League.

After spells at Hillingdon Borough and hometown club Bedford Town, in 1979 Fry became Barnet manager for the first of two management spells covering almost thirteen seasons. In his first spell, Barnet maintained a mid-table position in the Alliance League for six seasons before Fry left in December 1985 to manage Maidstone United. He returned to Barnet in August 1986 for a further seven seasons. Three times runners-up in the GM Vauxhall Conference, Fry achieved his first managerial success as Champions in 1990–91. Two years later he guided them towards the new Division Two (leaving two months before the end of the season to manage Southend) despite being sacked eight times and reinstated each time by controversial chairman Stan Flashman,[1] as well as being in charge of a club which was in a precarious financial state and under threat of expulsion from the Football League.

Fry moved to Southend United in 1993 with the club bottom of Division One. Fry kept Southend up, but later in the year moved to Birmingham City.[1] Though Birmingham were relegated in his first season, he won the Division Two championship in 1995 and also reached the finals of the Football League Trophy. During the 1995–96 season, Fry guided the Blues to the semi-finals of the League Cup but was sacked after their mid-season promotion hopes faded and the club finished 15th in Division One.

Just after leaving Birmingham, Fry became chairman-manager of Peterborough United. They were relegated to Division Three in his first season at the helm but they regained their Division Two status three years later. Fry's nine-year reign as manager came to an end in May 2005 after they were relegated again, after which time he took up a role as director of football.[3] Fry remained as chairman until September 2006 when Darragh MacAnthony succeeded him.[1]

Management style[edit]

Fry's prolific and often erratic dealings in the transfer market led to lifelong Birmingham City supporter Jasper Carrott claiming Fry "was probably trying to sort out the unemployment problem single-handed!"

Fry was often renowned for his attacking brand of football, although his tactics often meant his teams conceded more goals than they scored.

Fry in popular culture[edit]

Fry starred in a documentary called There's Only One Barry Fry. The programme included some of Fry's dressing room antics, including a row with Mick Bodley and his promise to get the Posh out of Division Two. Fry's Peterborough United were later the subject of Sky One's 2006 documentary series Big Ron Manager in which Ron Atkinson was bought in as a troubleshooter to help Fry and the management team during Peterborough's quest for promotion. They finished 10th.

Statistics[edit]

Manager[edit]

Team Nat From To Record
G W D L Win %
Barnet  England 1 August 1986 31 March 1993 94 45 19 30 47.87
Southend United  England 1 April 1993 10 December 1993 30 15 6 9 50
Birmingham City  England 10 December 1993 7 May 1996 143 57 43 43 39.86
Peterborough United  England 1 August 1996 31 May 2005 483 163 133 187 33.75
Note: These figures include only those matches in Soccerbase's database.
As of 22 March 2009[4]

Honours[edit]

Barnet
Birmingham City
Peterborough United

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Barry Fry: 'I've had the sack everywhere I've been, but you expect that'". www.independent.co.uk. 29 May 2011. Retrieved 2 January 2012. 
  2. ^ "Barry backs the Blues". www.TheFA.com. 11 February 2011. Retrieved 2 January 2012. 
  3. ^ "Director of football role for Fry". BBC Sport. 5 May 2005. Retrieved 26 April 2008. 
  4. ^ "Barry Fry's managerial career". Soccerbase. Racing Post. Retrieved 22 March 2009. 

References[edit]

  • Matthews, Tony (1995). Birmingham City: A Complete Record. Derby: Breedon Books. pp. 66–67. ISBN 978-1-85983-010-9. 
  • Brown, Neil. "Barry Fry". Post War English & Scottish Football League A – Z Player's Database. 
  • "Manager profile". League Managers' Association.