A midfielder, sadly no longer with us, voted Player of the Year 1980-1 for his outstanding ball skills and pure entertainment value during what were rather lean years for the club.

Steve was born in North London in 1958 and began his career as a Junior at Highbury.
Spells in the reserves there and at QPR, Millwall and Charlton followed for Steve before a short period of playing in America.

Steve Brinkman 1980

Midway through the 1976-77 season he joined Wealdstone in the Southern League where he made over 100 appearances. He first came to our notice scoring the winning goal for Wealdstone in the Southern League Cup win over Barnet. The Bees team included Jimmy Greaves, Marvin Hinton and Les Eason that that evening.

A long time target of Barry Fry, Brinky signed for Barnet for the start of the 1979 season and made his debut in the inaugural Alliance Premier League season fixture in the following line up at home to Nuneaton Borough on 21st August 1979. It finished 0-0 in front of 1,005.
Kevin Blackwell, Chris Hullett, Graham Pearce, Kevin Millett, Steve Oliver, Steve Brinkman, Russell Townsend, Steve Turner, Martin Sperrin, Steve Robinson and Gary French. 
Barnet finished a disappointing 17th out of 20 in the final table.

The following season was more of the same and another 17th place finish but the Barnet midfield of Brinkman, Turner, Townsend and Gary Sargent was not the worse by any means in our history in fact it was full of ball juggling, flair and intricate passing. However the APL in those times were the days of pitches looking like a ploughed field by September and the reign of the northern clubs like Altrincham and Runcorn with their 7 foot defenders and route one football. It was certainly not the environment in which players like Brinkman would thrive. I often think what those guys would have made of today's billiard table surfaces. It made Steve even more special with his cheeky temperament as invariably he would entertain the watching Barnet public and win the Player of the Year award by a landslide at the end of the season. Steve moved to Aylesbury in December 1981 but returned to Underhill for the start of the next season.

Horror struck after the fixture at Weymouth in August 1982 as Steve suffered the first of his five heart attacks. Aged just 24 it was tremendous shock to all associated with Steve as he was a fit young man, have no doubt. Many Bees fans were staying for the Bank Holiday weekend and I clearly recall the anti climax that evening when we should have been celebrating a superb 3-1 win.

After that terrible day at Weymouth Steve's career was obviously on hold for a while but to the delight of the Barnet fans he incredibly regained sufficient fitness to appear in another twenty odd games for Barnet in season 1984/5 bowing out in a fine 2-0 win at Gateshead in the April.
Steve Humphries, Mike Pittaway, Bill Baldry, Don McAllister, Glyn Creaser, Steve Brinkman, John Margerrison, Edwin Stein, Nicky Evans, Steve Mahoney, David Pearce.
Steve joined Maidstone United linking up with Barry Fry again but in October 1985 he suffered his second cardiac arrest which effectively put paid to Steve's full time playing days. However he again regained enough fitness to manage at Luton Old Boys before becoming Coach at Dunstable Town and Manager at South Midland Premier League Brache Sparta in 1994.

Barnet Football Club arranged four benefit games for Steve - the fist in September 1982 versus Tottenham. then in October 1982 versus Arsenal and a third against Luton Town later that month. The fourth was a Barnet Present v Barnet Past challenge one Sunday morning in December 1985. Nearly 30 players from the era turned out for what I remember as a rather fun day. The reason for the 11 am kick off was because just as much entertainment was to be witnessed in the club bar during the whole afternoon as on the pitch. The club made money that day.
Brinky 1985

He also made a stunning appearance in Gary Phillips Benefit match at the end in May 1994. I remember standing with the great Dougie Freedman who said “Who is that guy with all the flash flicks and back heels – wonderful to watch?” That was Brinky alright.

Steve “retired” in 2000 to spend time with his young family. A timely decision on reflection as he sadly passed away again from cardiac problems less than a year later In November 2001 from another attack. He left behind his lovely wife Barbie and four children.
Ex Barnet skipper and long time pal of Steve's Kevin Millett and Barbie organised a Celebrity Testimonial Game for Steve at Creasey Park Dunstable Town in March 2002 when over 1,000 turned out to witness a Brinkman XI up against an Arsenal/Celebrity X1. Millett, Andy Lomas, Edwin Stein, John Margerrison, Bill Baldry, Peter Brown, Glyn Creaser and Nicky Evans all appeared in Brinky's team.
Margerrison Evans Brown and Stein in 2002

My story of Steve, who is indeed one of my all time favourite Bees players, is from Altrincham in April 1981 when my band of 'players coach' travelling brothers (you could do that in those days!) were having a pre-match pint and a meat and potato pie in a pub next to the ground. The door flew open and Brinky stormed in much to our concern. “Barry's dropped me, the ****. Right lets have a drink”. He then proceeded to buy a round and treat all his admirers to an hour or so of behind the scenes stories and gossip. It is how one gets to know! That was a wonderful time as he stood with us on the terrace too. The result? 0-2. We were used to that especially when Steve wasn't playing!
On the coach on the way home Barry and Steve were reunited and were laughing, hugging each other and having a beer together (you could do that in those days!).

Steve Brinkman Appearances 149 Goals 8


  1. Great player and very sad. However, I am most disappointed Reckless that you have used a photograph of him in his Maidstone United kit :)
    Another top article mate.

  2. Thank you for your kind words.
    Abby brinkman

  3. Uncle Steve. Absolute legend.

    Alex Hayward