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
the recent announcement that much cherished former Bee Linvoy Primus
has been honoured with an MBE for his services to football in
Portsmouth and Christian charities we retrace Linvoy's career
in football focusing on his 3 seasons at Underhill.
was perhaps the finest centre back to wear Amber and Black over the
last 20 years and we were fortunate to witness his early development
as a player before he successfully made the step up to Premiership
level with Portsmouth in 2000.
involvement with Christian charities, and particularly Faith and
Football, begun in 2001 when he converted to the Christian faith. He
walked the length of the Great Wall of China in 2005 raising some
£100,000 to help build an Orphanage in Goa, West India and a Primary
School in Ibadan, Nigeria.
Stephen Primus, was born in Forest Gate 14th September
1973 to a Jamaican Mother Pauline and Grenadian father Newton. After
trials with Newham District he turned down a contract with West Ham
United and accepted a deal with Charlton Athletic. He made four first
team appearances at the Valley but competition for places was high.
After being released in the Summer of 1994 Ray Clemence stepped in to
acquire Linvoy's signature in front of Crewe Alexandra and Cardiff
City and offered him a two year contract. Linvoy made his Barnet
debut at home in the League Cup to Leyton Orient on the 16th
August 1994 as a substitute for Mark Newson. Barnet ran out 4-0
winners that evening mostly due to Dougie Freedman and Mark Cooper
goals. Barnet lined up;
Phillips, David McDonald, Shaun Gale, Carl Hoddle, Alan Walker, Mark
Newson, Micky Tomlinson, Dougie Freedman, Lee Hodges, Mark Cooper,
Paul Wilson. Subs Peter Scott, Linvoy Primus and Goalkeeper Paul
his first season Linvoy made 45 appearances and was runner up in the
Supporters Player on the Season poll behind Freedman.
1995/6 he made a further 48 appearances scoring five goals and was
once again runner up in the poll behind goalkeeper Maik Taylor,
however he was attracting more and more attention for the upper
echelon of the league.
1996/7 he was made team Captain and served under four separate
managers in Clemence, Terry Bullivant, Terry Gibson and Alan Mullery.
finest hour that season was probably shepherding Tony Cottee in the
two legged League Cup tie against West Ham in September when the
following players, courtesy of a Phil Simpson goal, held the Hammers
to a 1-1 at Underhill before narrowly loosing the second leg 1-0 at
Upton Park in front of over 15,000. Barnet squad;
Taylor, Shaun Gale, David McDonald, Robert Codner, Linvoy Primus, Lee
Howarth, Kevin Rattray, Phil Simpson, Paul Wilson, Sean Devine, Alan
Pardew, Lee Hodges, Micky Tomlinson, Jamie Campbell, Warren Goodhind
and Paul Hardyman.
that season Barnet were experimenting with a sweeper system using
Alan Pardew behind Linvoy and defensive partner Lee Howarth. Whether
this suited Primus is open to conjecture as the club finished 15th
but Linvoy did finish the season with 51 appearances, three goals and
the elusive Player of the Season award.
Bullivant now settled as Manager at Reading and also having Pardew as
his assistant an offer of £250,000 was too much to refuse for
Barnet. Much to the disappointment of Bees fans Linvoy started the
1997-98 season as a Reading player. He moved onto Portsmouth and over
a period of 10 years at Fratton Park he became revered enough for the
club to rename the Milton End of their ground as the Linvoy Primus
Community Stand for one season such was his loyally and his
affiliation to the club.
officially retired from playing in 2010 retaining his “ambassadorial
and advisory role to help guide emerging talent at Portsmouth”
bestowed upon him in 2009. He has since written a best selling
autobiography "Transformed" about his footballing career
and his religious beliefs. It really is a superb read.
married his teenage sweetheart Trish in 1999 and has two sons Nathan
and Cameron and a daughter Atlanta.
have a story as always......Myself and a little band of brothers who
called themselves the Curry Club were kit sponsors of Lee Harrison.
In December 1998 after a 3-2 win at Southend, Lee (who still
lives locally) invited the lads and their WAGS to his house for a
fancy dress party. Many of the players from the era were there but
David MacDonald and Linvoy drove to the party together with their
partners and Macca told us that they had to stop for petrol. Dave was
fairly normally dressed as Father Christmas and his lady as a vampire
however Linvoy - who I am sure you all know is a strapping lad - was
dressed as a fairy in a pink tutu, tiara, tiny panties and fishnet
tights complete with wand! The image of Linvoy just outside Wickford
filling up the car and buying a Snickers and a packet of chewing gum
from the shop is mind boggling. I have a photograph somewhere which I
must dig out - absolutely fantastic. When at the party My wife Lena
asked him where he kept his wallet? But then said "Oh
don't worry I can see it!" Linvoy is a seriously great sport.
is so easily said but certain players do have that air of geniality
and affability and are more approachable than others. Linvoy had
those attributes in abundance and talking to him recently he still
retains a huge affection for our club. He now is officially L.S.
Primus - Member of the Order of the British Empire too.