Peter Barnes is mostly known for his time with Manchester City in the 70’s and of course his games for England, being an entertaining winger of dimentions, but he had a menace career in football playing for 25 clubs in 8 different countries and on 3 continents.
One of his clubs was Real Betis. Barnes joined the Spanish club from Leeds United back in 1982 scoring 1 goal in 16 games. One of those games was against a certain Diego Maradona and he recalls the happening with fun, as he nuttmegged the legend, and it became a good memory from those days.
He was called El Rubio when with Real Betis. This nickname came around because he had blond hair and that is what they are called in Spain. This was probably the start of a fall of his great talent as injuries striked and a troubled knee became a bit problematic.
His talent was early shown as he did score that vital goal in the 1976 League Cup final at the time just 18 years of age. He made his England debut as a 20 year old in 1977 vs. Italy. He had a great game, England did win 2-0, Barnes attackng from the wing and gave the team a real injection and massive attacking approach.
After his first season he suffered a broken leg in the next, missing the FA Cup final at Wembley which Chelsea did lose 2-1 to Tottenham. Osgood was fighting his way back to full fitness, but surprisingly being played in midfield. He eventually found his way back, but a major blow as his tally after 10 games was an impressive 6 goals, which looked to have been more or less sensational.
He missed out on the 1982 World Cup and drifted away a bit despite being Leeds United’s record signing when joining from West Bromwich in the summer of 1981. After his year in Spain, Barnes returned to Leeds and played on but after his days at Elland Road ended the real journey in football started. First joining Coventry City and returning to top flight action.
Than the unlikely happened as Ron Atkinson came calling and wanted him to join Manchester United and he moved to Old Trafford and from there back to Maine Road and Man City, with a second spell at Man City very short lived as he after 8 games moved on again. He had seen himself loaned out to Bolton, Port Vale and Wimbledon and now the next permanent move was one to Hull City.
During the spell with The Tigers he added up 11 appearances before making a new move to Farense in Portugal. The back to Bolton and a short stay at Sunderland before another loan spell at Stockport not being involved at all.
Barnes as the age of 32 still in demand and now on a tour to Australia in the year of 1988. The turn of clubs was like being in and out of an elevator. He never settled anywhere as he moved on to Bury without playing and from there short stay in Ireland with Drogheda and from there playing 11 games for Tampa Bay Rowdies in Florida USA.
We had reached the year 1990 when Peter Barnes for the first time tasted non-league action signing on for Stafford Rangers and made a shift to Northwich Victoria and a return back to EFL action, but he never made the grass while with Wrexham.
Still just a 33 year old but with a nomadic life in football few could copy as the chase for new clubs continued. Barnes signed for Radcliffe Borough then on shortly after turning out for Mossley before again travelling abroad to play in Malta with Hamrun Spartans and on his tour landing in Farense again before his next visit came around at Cliftonville in Northern Ireland.
During his travels he also turned out in 22 games for England scoring 4 goals. He also had a grand number of U.21 appearances and his international career came to a stop in 1982 as the game vs. Holland on the 25th of May missing out on the World Cup that year as he was not selected.
In total Peter Barnes added up a total of 367 games and scored 50 goals at senior level. Starting it all with Manchester City making his debut in 1974 and 19 years later packing it in after his short stint at Cliftonville in Northern Ireland.
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