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
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.
was born in North London in 1958 and began his career as a Junior at
in the reserves there and at QPR, Millwall and Charlton followed for
Steve before a short period of playing in America.
Steve Brinkman 1980
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
Humphries, Mike Pittaway, Bill Baldry, Don McAllister, Glyn Creaser,
Steve Brinkman, John Margerrison, Edwin Stein, Nicky Evans, Steve
Mahoney, David Pearce.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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
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!
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!).