Simon Barker

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Simon Barker
Personal information
Full name Simon Barker[1]
Date of birth (1964-11-04) 4 November 1964 (age 52)
Place of birth Farnworth, England
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
St. Mary's College, Blackburn
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1983–1988 Blackburn Rovers 182 (35)
1988–1998 Queens Park Rangers 315 (33)
1998–2000 Port Vale 32 (2)
Total 529 (70)
National team
1985–1986 England U21 4 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Simon Barker (born 4 November 1964) is an English former footballer. A blond haired, tough tackling midfielder, he scored 70 goals in 529 league appearances throughout a 17-year career in the Football League. He also represented England under-21's four times.

He began his career at Blackburn Rovers in 1983, winning the Full Members Cup with the club in 1987, before moving on to Queens Park Rangers the following year for £400,000. He played 351 league and cup games for QPR, before moving on to Port Vale in 1998. He retired in 2000.

Playing career[edit]

Barker began his career at Blackburn Rovers under Bobby Saxton's stewardship in 1983. Rovers finished sixth in the Second Division in 1983–84, three places and 13 points outside of the promotion zone. They moved up to fifth in 1984–85, just two places and one point behind promoted Manchester City. Blackburn then dropped down to 19th in 1985–86, just one place and three points above relegated Carlisle United. New manager Don Mackay then rallied them to a 12th-place finish in 1986–87. Barker played for Rovers in the 1987 Full Members Cup Final at Wembley, where Colin Hendry's goal was enough to beat Charlton Athletic 1–0.[2] Blackburn reached the play-offs in 1987–88, but were defeated at the semi-final stage by top-flight Chelsea.

He joined First Division club Queens Park Rangers in 1988 for a fee of £400,000, making his debut in a 0–0 draw against Manchester United in September of that year. Rangers finished ninth in 1988–89 under Trevor Francis, eleventh in 1989–90 and twelfth in 1990–91 under Don Howe, and eleventh again in 1991–92 under Gerry Francis. Barker helped Rangers post a fifth-place finish in the first ever season of Premier League football in 1992–93, a feat which made them the top club in London. They dropped to ninth in 1993–94, before finishing eighth in 1994–95 under new manager Ray Wilkins. However the sale of top-scorer Les Ferdinand to Newcastle United hit QPR hard, and they were relegated in 1995–96, though Barker did find the net against West London rivals Chelsea. New boss Stewart Houston failed to bring immediate promotion back to the top-flight, as they finished five points outside the play-offs. The club struggled in 1997–98, finishing just one point and one place above relegated Manchester City. After a testimonial match against Jamaica, Barker left Loftus Road for Port Vale. Barker made 351 appearances for QPR in all competitions, scoring 41 goals.

Barker scored on his return to Loftus Road on 5 December 1998, though the "Valiants" lost the game 3–2. He played a total of 25 games in 1998–99, as the club went through a turbulent period by replacing manager John Rudge with Brian Horton. Barker featured just six times at Vale Park in the 1999–2000 campaign, and retired at the end of the season, at the age of 35.

Post-retirement[edit]

After retiring as a player he went on to become a senior executive for the Professional Footballers' Association.[3]

Statistics[edit]

  • Sourced from Simon Barker profile at the English National Football Archive (subscription required)
Club Season Division League FA Cup Other Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Blackburn Rovers 1983–84 Second Division 28 3 2 0 0 0 30 3
1984–85 Second Division 38 2 4 0 2 0 44 2
1985–86 Second Division 41 10 3 0 1 0 45 10
1986–87 Second Division 42 11 1 0 10 6 53 17
1987–88 Second Division 33 9 1 0 4 0 38 9
Total 182 35 11 0 17 16 310 51
Queens Park Rangers 1988–89 First Division 25 1 3 0 8 0 36 1
1989–90 First Division 28 3 9 2 3 0 40 5
1990–91 First Division 35 1 1 0 5 1 41 2
1991–92 First Division 34 6 1 0 6 2 41 8
1992–93 Premier League 25 1 2 0 1 0 28 1
1993–94 Premier League 37 5 1 1 4 2 42 8
1994–95 Premier League 37 4 4 0 3 0 44 4
1995–96 Premier League 33 5 0 0 4 0 37 5
1996–97 First Division 38 4 2 0 2 0 42 4
1997–98 First Division 23 3 0 0 2 0 26 3
Total 115 3 23 3 38 5 176 11
Port Vale 1998–99 First Division 27 2 0 0 0 0 27 2
1999–2000 First Division 5 0 0 0 1 0 6 0
Total 32 2 1 0 1 0 34 2
Career Total 529 70 34 3 56 11 619 84

Honours[edit]

with Blackburn Rovers

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Simon Barker". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 9 March 2017. 
  2. ^ Rob Maul (20 February 2005). "Caught in Time: Blackburn Rovers win Full Members Cup, 1987". Sunday Times. Retrieved 26 November 2010.  (subscription required)
  3. ^ Shaw, Steve (2 March 2011). "Port Vale: I have no case to answer over coach bust-up, claims Gannon". The Sentinel. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 

External links[edit]