Over 20 years of writing about my club in Barnet matchday programmes, which sold to about 500 souls on a good day, now with this Blog Site everyone can read my ramblings, memories, interviews, experiences, features, guides to away grounds and pure love of everything Barnet Football Club. Enjoy and digest and tell your friends.
Reckless - Potters Bar March 2014.
Oh Yes, thank you to"Al" without whom.......that is all
this gentleman arrived at Underhill, players and supporters alike
said "I can't believe we have signed Gordon Ferry!"
300 appearances, twice Player of the Year, club captain and a spell
as manager is an exceptional CV at any club and certainly deserves
the label of “legendary”. Gordon Ferry featured in that notable
1960’s and early 70’s team managed by Dexter Adams and then Tommy
Coleman. A hard tackling centre half, great in the air but could also
hold his own in a central midfield role, Gordon was part of a
magnificent back four alongside Peter Jenkins, Ben Embery and Jimmy
Lye – “those lads were outstanding” he said, “and I have
played with some very good players in my time”. Gordon was a model
of consistency in his time at Underhill and was a class act.
Gordon at Arsenal 1961
was born near the docks of Sunderland in December 1943 and played at
halfback for his school team before joining Sunderland Boys where he
moved to the centre half position. At 17 Gordon and another local lad
George Armstrong were picked out by scouts from Arsenal joining the
club in 1960 and playing in the Juniors alongside future Barnet
players Billy Meadows David Court plus Peter Simpson and Jon Sammels.
Turning pro in January 1961 and as understudy to Ian Ure, Ferry
played in countless games in the Gunners reserves finally getting his
chance in September 1964 making his first team debut at Sheffield
Wednesday before making a total of 11 appearances that season. “I
played at Stamford Bridge in front of 63,000 and I can also remember
travelling with the team and watching from the bench at Goodison Park
Everton and hearing the most appalling language and suffering
continuous banging on the roof on the dug out, they were completely
mad up there”.
May 1965 Gordon had moved to Leyton Orient under Dave Sexton and
after two seasons at Brisbane Road had a successful spell with the
Atlanta Chiefs in Georgia USA winning the NSL as a Player-Coach. “I
spent the “Summer of Love” with my wife Dianne in America, it was
his return to England Ricky George put him in touch with Dexter Adams
at Barnet and much to the delight of everybody at the club he signed
up in November 1968. “I met up with so many old mates including the
great Gerry Ward”.
gave me his insight in how simple it is to play football when you
have the calibre of players that were at Underhill then - “Jack
McClelland would roll the ball out to Ben Embery or myself, we would
by-pass Barry King – because he was the only player in that team
that couldn’t pass - and give it to Gerry Ward. Gerry would simply
play it forward to Bill or Les Eason, it would be knocked straight
back to Gerry who would then spray a perfect pass out wide to Paddy
Powell on the right and he did the rest. Skipping past the full back
he would knock the ball in for Bill or Les or Ricky George to score –
easy isn’t it?”
greatest games in the Amber and Black shirt without doubt came in FA
Cup ties. In January 1971 when Colchester United visited Underhill in
treacherous icy conditions Ferry was supreme and was singled out by
the national press. Two years later when we went head to head with
the mighty Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road, Ferry and Steve Tom
were the kingpins and perfectly marshalled Stan Bowles and Don Givens
in the Rangers attack.
asked him about Wembley in 1972 and the FA Trophy Final against
Stafford Rangers. “I have a medal that says I played there and I
have seen the dodgy TV footage of the game and I know that we didn’t
do our selves justice and were poor on the day. After what had been a
season full of great football it should be crystal clear, but I
honestly don’t remember much about the day at all. I have tried to
remember but it is a blur, it flashed by. I can recall little moments
like looking around the stadium before the game and sitting in the
dressing room listening to Tommy’s team talk but little else.”
Gordon Ferry 1972
Gerry Ward retired as a player and took over the Manager’s seat
Gordon became team Captain at Barnet. He was presented with the
Supporters Association Player of the Year 1972-73 for the second time
in three years. When Ward resigned in March 1974 Gordon was invited
by the club to take over as Player-Manager and accepted the challenge
although he admitted he found it hard work. At the start of the
following season Gordon was in charge of a squad that had lost
familiar faces and added several new faces. Gordon revealed the club
were having problems and we didn't have enough back up players when
injuries arrived. “Those splendid teams of 1968-72 would have won
trophies if only we had the addition of perhaps two or three more top
players, that I have no doubt. When new manager Brian Kelly was taken
on I reverted to a playing role but the good times had gone. I had
truly loved playing for Barnet but all good things do come to an end
sooner or later” said Gordon.
signed with Barking in 1975 for a year but soon family life started
son was beginning to play and I thought to myself, I have had my
time, now I must give time to my family. On reflection it was the
right move as I have always thought that to keep playing well as you
get older you have to be playing in a good side. Your body eventually
needs someone else to do your running. That’s the way it is you
simply cannot keep up the pace. Fortunately I had always played in
brilliant passing teams during my career” he smiled broadly.
would be your perfect playing partner I asked? He replied without
hesitation, “Ben Embery by far. He and I had a great relationship
on and off the pitch.”
Gordon and his wife Dianne are fully retired and living in Welwyn Garden City. After
a football career spanning some 16 years he settled into a normal
routine very easily – well he would, he is a charming man and so
comfortable to talk to. “My garden is my recreation now” he said.
It seems to have kept him young looking!
have reached me that very recently Gordon, Ben Embery, Les Eason,
Paddy Powell, Bill Meadows, Ian Fusedale, Ricky George, Jimmy Lye
plus others including Barnet Press men Roger Jones and John Motson
met up for a lunch in a top London Hotel and all got the worse for
wear reminiscing about our great club. I would have loved to have
been there too!