JOHN MARGERRISON

The next in the spotlight is a richly talented midfielder, oozing class with a great touch and vision – “What was he doing at Underhill on a pitch resembling Hackney Marshes then?” - BFC Captain Edwin Stein.

During this series of Look Back in Amber I will always state any personal bias where applicable so therefore I declare that “Johnny Marge” will always hold a special affinity with me as a player and nonchalantly wanders into my all time Barnet FC line up. - Reckless.

John was born in 1955 in Bushey and his boyhood dream came true signing as a Youth in 1971 at Tottenham, turning professional in April 1972. He moved to Fulham in 1975 lining up alongside George Best and Rodney Marsh, had spells with Orient, The Kansas City Comets in America and Wealdstone before trying to settle his family in Holland.
It didn't work out and I came home. Barry Fry phoned me out of the blue and offered a deal at Barnet in summer 1983.” John's debut in a Barnet shirt was in August 1983. With the club ravaged by injuries to Nicky Evans, John Docker, Bill Baldry and Kevin Millett among others, the unfamiliar line up for the a 2-1 home defeat to Nuneaton Borough was as follows;
Gary Phillips, Chris Kinnear, Colin Hardman, Mike Pittaway, Tony Bennett, Edwin Stein, Margerrison, Steve Ragan, Peter Brown, Stuart Atkins, Steve Mahoney. Subs: Bob Pittaway and Lawrence Ashworth.
Young John

I think it is fair to say that Margerrison’s first real performance in an amber shirt, at least the first one that made supporters sit up and realise what a major influence he was going to have on the team, was in the 10-0 thrashing of Trowbridge Town in the Alliance League Trophy. In his first season, helping Barnet to 9th in the Alliance Premier League and finish runners up to Scarborough in that Alliance Cup, John featured in an incredible 60 league and cup games scoring 7 times.

It was an era of serious under achieving at Underhill, especially in view of the individual player quality we possessed, but an era that all who witnessed it remember with affection the wonderful football and great times – risqué stories are in abundance regarding the exploits of the squad and manager back then. Marge has told me “Team talks were always such fun too and Barry used to say ‘right Steiny do this, Nicky you do that, so and so do this’ then he would look over at me and say ‘you just do what you want Marge!’”. In 1984-85 John made 42 appearances scoring 3 goals.
John Margerrison 1985

When Fry moved from Underhill to Maidstone United in 1985 he persuaded many of his favourite players to follow him but Marge resisted making 33 appearances and scoring twice. “I told him I didn't fancy it. When he returned that was when I thought to myself we really do have the makings of a great side here. It was disappointing finishing 2nd to Scarborough but we played some tremendous football. Stan Flashman was also responsible for a great deal of the success, one season we were travelling in a draughty old coach next season we were getting on board waitress service and being treated like Kings”.
That 1986-87 Conference season was without doubt Margerrison’s finest in a Bees shirt. Not only did he score eleven goals from 43 starts but also he literally controlled the midfield strolling around the pitch albeit assisted by Stein, Barry Little and Robert Codner in an almost casual manner. He was extremely modest in his response to that statement. “When you had the likes of Evans, Sansom, Mahoney and Alexander to set up it was a pleasure to play”

After two seasons hindered by injury in 1987 and 1988, much to the disappointment of the fans and especially the West Bank, Onion (as in Onion Bhaji - Margie) was released in early 1989 and joined Wealdstone for just £2,500 – a snip. He became a bit of a journeyman for some 10 years after that turning out for St Albans, Harlow Town, Dunstable Town and finally finishing his career with Brache Sparta managed by ex Bees Steve Brinkman and Bill Baldry. These days he is a fit 59 year old BT technician still playing regular “vets” football, living in St Albans with wife of 33 years, Sue.
Reckless and Marge

I had some brilliant times at Barnet and I simply loved it just because they always played the way I wanted to play”.

John Margerrison  Appearances 196 Goals 23

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