200 games for a club is a milestone in football these days and not many players have broken that barrier at Barnet in the last two decades – Joe Devera and Ismail Yakubu are the most recent. I have been meaning to write a piece on Curtis for a while now and this seems the right time.

Curtis Weston has over 420 games as a professional under his belt and been with our club since August 2012 and of course played a massive part in our Conference winning campaign in 2015.

Curtis James Weston was born in Greenwich in January 1987 and was was spotted by Millwall scouts while still at school. He joined the Den's Youth Academy progressing very quickly to the first team, although he only made six appearances. It is widely known that in only his second appearance for the Lions he replaced Player-Manager Dennis Wise in the 89th minute of the 2004 FA Cup Final against Manchester United becoming the youngest ever Cup Finalist aged 17 years and 119 days. He fondly remembers “I didn't get many touches but slide tackled Ruud van Nistelroy and won a 50-50 with Nicky Butt. I was a United fan as a kid so that made it more special. Dennis is a really nice guy and I got on really well with him, he speaks straight and you know exactly where you stand with him.”
Wembley 2004

When Wise took over at Swindon Town, Curtis was on his 'want list' and he signed for the Robins in July 2006. After a season playing regularly, partly under Paul Sturrock's regime and allegedly not fitting in with his Managers style, he moved to Leeds United on a free transfer linking up with Wise for the third time. First team opportunities became limited at Elland Road, more so when Gary McAllister replaced Wise. He had made just 11 appearances before, “Gary told me honestly that I wasn't in his plans and I should start looking elsewhere”.

In March 2008 Curtis moved to Scunthorpe United on loan and then during the Summer was approached by Mark Stimson at Gillingham. “I grabbed that chance especially being bought up in the area and I knew the set-up was was really good there, plus it was a chance to move closer to my family and play more games.” More than 160 appearances over four seasons and a League 2 Play off Winners medal were his rewards there.
His time at Priestfield overlapped slightly with Martin Allen's managership but it was Mark Robson who persuaded Curtis to join the Bees. In that squad he eventually found himself competing with Edgar Davids and John Oster for the centre midfield berth. “Mark was a Coach at Gillingham during my spell there and we got on really well.”

Curtis made his Barnet debut away at Port Vale on the 18th August 2012 as a substitute in the following line up which lost 0-3.
Liam O Brien – Clovis Kamdjo, Jordan Brown, Ahmed Abdulla, Jon Fortune - Olly Lee, Andy Yiadom, Freddie Warren, Anthony Edgar - Ricky Holmes and Jon Nurse. Subs: Jack Saville, Curtis Weston, Mark Byrne, Barry Fuller, Luke Gambin, Jake Hyde and Sam Cowler.
That season of course was unfortunately a relegation back to the Conference for the club, notwithstanding the acquisition of the legendary Edgar Davids as Player-Coach in October who by December was in sole charge after Robson had moved on. Continues Curtis “I was buzzing when the news was announced, what a player! It was amazing to work under Edgar and he brought huge discipline and respect to the club.” Davids, who had been living in the Barnet area for a couple of years, utilised Curtis in a more defensive midfield role and often as a Centre Back and he made 31 appearances during the campaign.
“That was the second time in my career I'd been in a side relegated on goal difference, its difficult enough experiencing such disappointment but to miss out by such a narrow margin was even harder to take.”

With the move to the Hive the next season was frankly undramatic – Davids resigned in January 2014 and Martin Allen returned to the club for his 4th spell in charge in March when rebuilding started. During 2013-14 Curtis made 40 appearances scoring 4 times with Barnet finishing a reasonable 8th.

The following season of course was a glorious one for the club securing promotion back to the Football League. Curtis made 49 appearances scoring 10 times, many of the goals at crucial times. Linking up with Sam Togwell, Luisma Villa and Lee Cook, it was a midfield to rival any in Barnet Football Club's history. Curtis actually started in every league game – a tribute to his commitment and fitness. Captain Charlie MacDonald told me “Curtis was unbelievable for us, an unsung hero as of course John Akinde got huge acclaim for his goalscoring but Curtis was the driver in that team.” Michael Nelson backed this up saying recently “Curtis is perhaps the fittest member of the squad and we know that he looks after himself away from the club too. As a senior member now the younger players look up to and respect him.” Martin Allen once told me “Curtis is an engine and although he has come in from some criticism from supporters at times that is unjust because he is a magnificent player to have in your squad!”
Curtis and Mauro Vilhete celebrating the Promotion Winning Goal

Returning to the Football League was tough for the club and a 15th place finish in 2016 was a little disappointing considering the quality players here. Curtis made another 41 appearances scoring 3 times and was given the honour to captain the side. To date in 2016-17 another 43 appearances and 6 goals has been added to his tally at Barnet.
Jamie Stephens says “Curtis is a top professional on and off the pitch and is the best at pushing other players around him. I consider myself very fortunate to have him as a team-mate and would like to congratulate him on his milestone for Barnet.” 
Jamie Stephens

Michael Nelson adds “The team is weaker without Curtis in my opinion. Did you know he sings a lot in the dressing rooms? I have to say though he has a pretty decent voice! It is a real achievement to clock up 200 games for any club, I am sure he make many more.”
Admiral Nelson

Sam Togwell says “ I roomed with Curtis any times, he makes a decent cup of tea, likes to veg in front of a TV and doesn't snore – the perfect companion”
Sam Togwell

Graham Stack simply asked “Curtis who?”
Graham Stack

May I say, to spend five seasons (so far) at our Club and to reach this landmark, the five managers he has worked under here must have been happy with something he gives to a squad! Curtis has always been an approachable gentleman – his BFC social media 'Friends' and 'Contacts' list illustrates this. Mrs Reckless also says “That Curtis Weston looks a lovely young man”. I wonder why? Congratulations CW.
The next Bond?

I will leave the last words to Rossi Eames.
Rossi Eames

“Curtis has been an integral part of the clubs Football League success for the past three seasons and since working with him I have constantly noted his professionalism and ability to produce the physical demands required to play in centre midfield. He has that ability to score too and a personal highlight of mine is the skilful side foot volley at Dartford to keep us top of the table in our promotion season run in. These 200 appearances for Barnet demonstrates his hard work, desire and ability as a top footballer.”
Curtis Weston (As of 1st May 2017) Appearances 204 - Goals 23

1 comment:

  1. Top player (hugely underrated by many) and great article again Reckless. Great job thank you