Yesterday, we took a look at Simon Tickner, who we described as a “typical” non-league defender. Well today, we have another “typical” non-league defender.
Ian Barnes pipped Simon to third place by one single appearance, having made 184 starts for the club in a spell spanning five seasons.
He made his debut in the same 6-1 defeat to Hemel Hempstead Town as Tickner, in August 2000, and in his first season for the club, he would go onto make 35 appearances.
In his early years, Barnes was one of the most defensive-minded players who have probably played for the club. Many supporters joked that every time he crossed the half-way line, his nose would begin to bleed.
He was a key part of the highly successful 2001-2 side, which finished 2nd in the Ryman League Division 2.
In his third season (2002-3) for the club, he played under Danny Honeyball, and then Hakan Heyrettin, helping the club narrowly avoid relegation.
It is often the case in non-league, that if a manager leaves a club, a large amount of players will follow. This was not the case for Barnes, who played under five different managers (Lyndon Lynch, Tommy Lee, Colin Richards, Danny Honeyball and Hakan Heyrettin) at the club, providing a much-needed continuity.
He was again an ever-present in the 2003-4 season, making 41 appearances. In 2004-5, he made 32 starts, and even managed to score one goal, making his tally for the club a resounding three in 184 starts.
The end of the 2004-5 season saw the end of Barnes’ long spell with the club, moving on to play step five football.
He was in fact signed as emergency cover by Danny Honeyball in the 2006-7 season, but did not make any appearances.
At the end of the 2002-3 season, he was deservedly voted Supporters’ Player of the Season.