Watford bade farewell to John Barnes 27 years ago today as he joined Liverpool

Watford Observer: On this date in Watford FC's history On this date in Watford FC's history

Tuesday, June 9, 1987

John Barnes, arguably the most talented player to have played for Watford, joined Liverpool for £900,000.

That he stayed with Watford for six full seasons seems extraordinary now but was never taken as read at the time, transfer rumours surfacing almost as soon as he appeared in the Hornets' first team.

Having scored 85 goals in 296 appearances for Watford, largely from the left wing, Barnes would win two league titles with Liverpool.

Reproduced by kind permission of Matt Rowson from his book, Watford FC On This Day

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8:04am Mon 9 Jun 14

jimbowfc says...

Scouser!
Scouser! jimbowfc
  • Score: -10

9:44am Mon 9 Jun 14

gloryhornet4 says...

jimbowfc wrote:
Scouser!
Not a nice comment but I guess it reflects that JCB has done little to stop the media airbrush his 6 years at Watford out of his CV and claim him as a Dalglish find.

How the fork this has been allowed to happen when Digger was already an established England International. He walked the ball thru the entire Brasil defence to score in their own back yard as a Watford player and still be a Dalglish find?
[quote][p][bold]jimbowfc[/bold] wrote: Scouser![/p][/quote]Not a nice comment but I guess it reflects that JCB has done little to stop the media airbrush his 6 years at Watford out of his CV and claim him as a Dalglish find. How the fork this has been allowed to happen when Digger was already an established England International. He walked the ball thru the entire Brasil defence to score in their own back yard as a Watford player and still be a Dalglish find? gloryhornet4
  • Score: 9

10:03am Mon 9 Jun 14

MainStandShambles says...

gloryhornet4 wrote:
jimbowfc wrote:
Scouser!
Not a nice comment but I guess it reflects that JCB has done little to stop the media airbrush his 6 years at Watford out of his CV and claim him as a Dalglish find.

How the fork this has been allowed to happen when Digger was already an established England International. He walked the ball thru the entire Brasil defence to score in their own back yard as a Watford player and still be a Dalglish find?
Hear hear gloryhornet 4, I've noticed that as well. We never get the credit for finding Digger. I remember his debut very well,do you? The buzz that spread round the ground was something special. A joy to watch, he had amazing balance and the subtle drop of the shoulder to pass defenders was brilliant.
[quote][p][bold]gloryhornet4[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]jimbowfc[/bold] wrote: Scouser![/p][/quote]Not a nice comment but I guess it reflects that JCB has done little to stop the media airbrush his 6 years at Watford out of his CV and claim him as a Dalglish find. How the fork this has been allowed to happen when Digger was already an established England International. He walked the ball thru the entire Brasil defence to score in their own back yard as a Watford player and still be a Dalglish find?[/p][/quote]Hear hear gloryhornet 4, I've noticed that as well. We never get the credit for finding Digger. I remember his debut very well,do you? The buzz that spread round the ground was something special. A joy to watch, he had amazing balance and the subtle drop of the shoulder to pass defenders was brilliant. MainStandShambles
  • Score: 8

10:42am Mon 9 Jun 14

gloryhornet4 says...

MainStandShambles wrote:
gloryhornet4 wrote:
jimbowfc wrote:
Scouser!
Not a nice comment but I guess it reflects that JCB has done little to stop the media airbrush his 6 years at Watford out of his CV and claim him as a Dalglish find.

How the fork this has been allowed to happen when Digger was already an established England International. He walked the ball thru the entire Brasil defence to score in their own back yard as a Watford player and still be a Dalglish find?
Hear hear gloryhornet 4, I've noticed that as well. We never get the credit for finding Digger. I remember his debut very well,do you? The buzz that spread round the ground was something special. A joy to watch, he had amazing balance and the subtle drop of the shoulder to pass defenders was brilliant.
I lived in Bicester at the time and had a 2 year old and a new born so heard the raves about Digger and finally got to see JCB play against Norwich which I think was his 8th game. He scored one and made a goal from a free kick. GT was on TV afterwards saying a fan had contacted the club who said you have to see this guy John Barnes.

GT later said they put John in a reserves game after special training to muscle him up. He scored by half time and as he was not signed the opposition Orient followed John as he left the pitch. He did not appear for the second half so Watford could get a holding contract to stop him being poached.

John then played two more reserve games and then GT thought, - why I am playing him in the reserves and made him sub (first team debut) against Oldham and he played as a first team starter ever ever since.

I think Everton got a referral about John Barnes before Watford as did 3 other clubs but none followed up as their research said he played Rugby at school.

Fortunately for Watford Bertie Mee and John's Dad Ken(?) knew each other from playing against each other in the services, so Bertie was trusted to look after John as the Barnes returned to Jamaica.
[quote][p][bold]MainStandShambles[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]gloryhornet4[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]jimbowfc[/bold] wrote: Scouser![/p][/quote]Not a nice comment but I guess it reflects that JCB has done little to stop the media airbrush his 6 years at Watford out of his CV and claim him as a Dalglish find. How the fork this has been allowed to happen when Digger was already an established England International. He walked the ball thru the entire Brasil defence to score in their own back yard as a Watford player and still be a Dalglish find?[/p][/quote]Hear hear gloryhornet 4, I've noticed that as well. We never get the credit for finding Digger. I remember his debut very well,do you? The buzz that spread round the ground was something special. A joy to watch, he had amazing balance and the subtle drop of the shoulder to pass defenders was brilliant.[/p][/quote]I lived in Bicester at the time and had a 2 year old and a new born so heard the raves about Digger and finally got to see JCB play against Norwich which I think was his 8th game. He scored one and made a goal from a free kick. GT was on TV afterwards saying a fan had contacted the club who said you have to see this guy John Barnes. GT later said they put John in a reserves game after special training to muscle him up. He scored by half time and as he was not signed the opposition Orient followed John as he left the pitch. He did not appear for the second half so Watford could get a holding contract to stop him being poached. John then played two more reserve games and then GT thought, - why I am playing him in the reserves and made him sub (first team debut) against Oldham and he played as a first team starter ever ever since. I think Everton got a referral about John Barnes before Watford as did 3 other clubs but none followed up as their research said he played Rugby at school. Fortunately for Watford Bertie Mee and John's Dad Ken(?) knew each other from playing against each other in the services, so Bertie was trusted to look after John as the Barnes returned to Jamaica. gloryhornet4
  • Score: 5

12:58pm Mon 9 Jun 14

croxley46 says...

Shame we lost the likes of Bertie Mee and Keith Burkinshaw, both excellent No. 2's for the club with all their experience.
We need someone similar now, like Lennie Lawrence (Bolton no. 2) or even Nigel Gibbs, but definitely not Niel Warnock!

P.S. I see Scott Loach has left Ipswich for Rotherham, newly promoted to the Ch'ship - wonder if he'll just be a bench-warmer there too? Only made about 8 appearances for the Tractor Boys last season, and didn't even make the bench when we beat them 3-1 at the Vic recently - cold feet?!
Shame we lost the likes of Bertie Mee and Keith Burkinshaw, both excellent No. 2's for the club with all their experience. We need someone similar now, like Lennie Lawrence (Bolton no. 2) or even Nigel Gibbs, but definitely not Niel Warnock! P.S. I see Scott Loach has left Ipswich for Rotherham, newly promoted to the Ch'ship - wonder if he'll just be a bench-warmer there too? Only made about 8 appearances for the Tractor Boys last season, and didn't even make the bench when we beat them 3-1 at the Vic recently - cold feet?! croxley46
  • Score: 3

5:32pm Mon 9 Jun 14

Bush Hornet says...

gloryhornet4 wrote:
jimbowfc wrote:
Scouser!
Not a nice comment but I guess it reflects that JCB has done little to stop the media airbrush his 6 years at Watford out of his CV and claim him as a Dalglish find.

How the fork this has been allowed to happen when Digger was already an established England International. He walked the ball thru the entire Brasil defence to score in their own back yard as a Watford player and still be a Dalglish find?
He's been back once or twice. Said nice things about the club when he witnessed Gary Porters hat trick against Bolton from the stands.

He went for a criminally low fee though. And he shouldn't have gone on Strictly Come Dancing. Woeful
[quote][p][bold]gloryhornet4[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]jimbowfc[/bold] wrote: Scouser![/p][/quote]Not a nice comment but I guess it reflects that JCB has done little to stop the media airbrush his 6 years at Watford out of his CV and claim him as a Dalglish find. How the fork this has been allowed to happen when Digger was already an established England International. He walked the ball thru the entire Brasil defence to score in their own back yard as a Watford player and still be a Dalglish find?[/p][/quote]He's been back once or twice. Said nice things about the club when he witnessed Gary Porters hat trick against Bolton from the stands. He went for a criminally low fee though. And he shouldn't have gone on Strictly Come Dancing. Woeful Bush Hornet
  • Score: 4

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