Involved in two promotions with the club - a centre back oozing class who knew where the goal was too – even his own on occasions!

Michael John Bodley was born in Hayes in 1967 and joined Chelsea as an apprentice turning pro in Summer 1985.
Bodley at Chelsea

He made 8 first team appearances scoring once for the Blues making his debut in a 1-0 win over Norwich City in September 1987. “Kerry Dixon, Tony Dorigo, Micky Hazzard and Pat Nevin were in that side” says Mick. 

Northampton made a £60,000 bid for Mick's services in January 1989 which was accepted by Chelsea manager Bobby Campbell. “I suffered with a concussion early on at Northampton after a collision and went through a lot of trauma at the time and really shouldn't have been playing.”

After 20 league appearances with the Cobblers Barry Fry tabled a £15,000 bid in September 1989 – the Underhill faithful were more than happy to be witnessing a player the calibre of Bods in the line up.
Micky Bodley 1990

In his own words “It made perfect sense to go part time but also Barry and Chairman Stan Flashman were paying very good wages.”

He made his debut in the following line up that won 4-2 at home to Newmarket Town in the FA Cup on 30th September 1989. Goalscorers Murphy 2, Bull and Clarke.

Peter Guthrie, Paul Wilson, Geoff Cooper, Mick Bodley, Phil Gridelet, Derek Payne, Edwin Stein, David Mehmet, Frank Murphy, Gary Bull and Andrew Clarke. Subs David Regis and George Reilly.

Bodley told me “ George Reilly was awesome, he would look after anybody playing alongside him, although he would frighten me! I was always covering for Geoff Cooper who would gallop forward on a jolly because he thought he should be a winger and not a left back and then he would not bother chasing back quick enough 'cheers for that Bods' he would say! But I used to work my backside off. I broke my arm soon after that and missed a few games but Barry picked me the season afterwards as first choice centre back. That was the season we won the Conference, and that was simply a magnificent team”.

Forming defensive partnerships with David Howell or Richard Nugent, Bodley was outstanding and scored a incredible 11 goals during the season - mostly appearing late in the box to meet corners from Kenny Lowe or Kevin Durham. It was a very solid tactic that Fry used a lot, defenders arriving late into the penalty area.

“David Howell was just a monster and a totally different man off the pitch while Nugent was the best header of a ball I ever played with. When players the calibre of Nicky Evans and Mark Carter started to join the squad I began to think this is awesome and really began to believe we could get promotion but the icing on the cake was seeing Kenny Lowe on the team sheet it's then when I said to myself 'Yeah now we've won it'. He was just incredible.
I was basically dropped out after the defeat at Altrincham late in the season and such was the quality of that squad I missed out playing at Fisher in the final game – but we did it and it was fantastic”
Barnet Football Club 1991-92

More outstanding performances followed over the next season when the Bees narrowly lost in the play-offs to Blackpool. “The team got just better and better even though Barry would play a back three with two in front and then five forwards - with more forwards on the bench, never a centre half - it was crazy. We had Don Howe as defensive coach for a while and really tightened up and played with more discipline for three or four games but when he left Barry said 'stuff this rubbish' and went back to his style, its the only way he knows”.
The following season even with Fry moving on, under Edwin Stein Barnet finished third to gain automatic promotion into what was then Division 2.
Mick Bodley 1991

After the turmoil of the Summer of 1993 and all the well documented administration problems at Barnet, Mick was one of 11 players awarded free transfers by the Football League and Micky soon joined Fry at Southend United alongside numerous other ex Bees.
“I know that that Barnet team would have gone on to great things had we stayed together but it wasn't to be”. Mick's last game in for Barnet was in the Herts Senior Cup Final on 12th May 1993 against Watford at Bishops Stortfords ground. Bods scored in a 4-1 win.

“Peter Shilton offered me a good deal at Plymouth but they were in the second division and I fancied first division Football so I chose to go along with Barry at Southend and it was really more of the same, madness!” Bodley briefly joined Gillingham on loan in 1994 and such was his impact on the Gills fans that they allegedly donated £2,500 in an attempt to fund a month's extension – now that is special. He then joined Birmingham on loan before rejoining Fry at London Road Peterborough where he made over 100 appearances becoming club Captain. Who remembers September 1998 when Posh beat Barnet 9-1 at Underhill and Bods scoring our goal by putting through his own net? He was accused of doing it deliberately because he loved us so much!? No I don't remember that either.....

In 1999 aged thirty two he returned to part time playing and joined St Albans before signing with Gary Hill at Dagenham & Redbridge. There as captain he helped the club to the Isthmian League title. He then moved onto Canvey Island in 2000 where he won an FA Trophy medal under John King after beating Forest Green Rovers at Villa Park. “I loved it at Canvey because I was allowed to play in the role I wanted, as sweeper, it was the perfect place to end my career”.

Bodley at Canvey Island

After a knee operation in November 2001 he never really regained his fitness again and retired in March 2002.

“Then it got hard having to live without playing – all ex players know it is a culture shock and it really took me a couple of years to get myself together. You miss the buzz of the dressing room and all that goes with it and I can understand why many players need professional help when they retire it is a serious come down” explained Mick.

At the “Barnet 1991 Players Reunion” held in the Durham suite in November 2012 Mick was the first player to arrive eager to meet his old comrades and be a part of the evening – he was infectious and it was really special spending time with him reminiscing. He never stopped smiling! Talking again on the phone recently I experienced more of the same. He told me “Playing at Barnet with all those players was incredible, and I miss it terribly, it is a wonderful club and I was treated so well”.
Bods and Reckless 2012

Mick is now a Postman and happily living in Chipperfield Hertfordshire with his wife Lucy and has two daughters Charlotte who is at University and Georgia who is training to be chef. He is currently building a loft extension to his house. It will be efficient, tasteful and solid as a rock just like Micky Bodley was at Underhill.

Mick Bodley Appearances 148 Goals 15

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