PAUL BARNES 

By Tony Scholes
Last updated : 30 June 2012

Date and Place of Birth

16th November 1967 - Leicester

 

Transfers to and from Burnley

from Birmingham City - 6th September 1996 (£400,000)

to Huddersfield Town - 16th January 1998

 

First and Last Burnley Games

Gillingham (a) - 7th September 1996

 

Gillingham (a) - 3rd January 1998

 

Other Clubs

Notts County, Stoke City, Chesterfield (loan), York City,

Birmingham City

----------------------------------------

Huddersfield Town, Bury, Doncaster Rovers

 

 

Burnley Career Stats

 

Season League FA Cup League Cup Others Total
                     
  apps gls apps gls apps gls apps gls apps gls
1996/97 39(1) 24 3 1 2 - - - 44(1) 25
1997/98 24(1) 6 2 - 3 - - - 29(1) 6
                     
Total 63(2) 30 5 1 5 - - - 73(2) 31

 

Profile by Tony Scholes

 

Paul Barnes was with Burnley for just over sixteen months. In that time he scored at a rate of almost a goal every two games but will perhaps best be remembered by Burnley fans for his first goals and his departure.

The Clarets had both Kurt Nogan and Andy Cooke at the club. Nogan was very much the blue eyed boy at the time with manager Adrian Heath who didn't feel Cooke was ready for a permanent role in the side.

From the start of the 1996/97 season he'd stressed the need to bring in another striker to play alongside Nogan and in the first week in September he swooped to sign the 28-year-old Barnes from Birmingham.

"We know what we are getting," said Heath, who paid a club record £400,000 to bring Barnes to Turf Moor. "I've looked at strikers who haven't scored nearly as manager goals as Paul Barnes and who are on the market for a lot more money. He will be a really exciting signing for Burnley."

Barnes was delighted. He'd only been with Birmingham for a short time but a change of manager saw Trevor Francis replace Barry Fry and he lost his place when Francis spent money on two new strikers.

"There's not too many clubs you could leave Birmingham for and think you're going to somewhere just as big," Barnes admitted. "That's the feeling I get about Burnley. I've got a real buzz about coming to Turf Moor. I'm really fired up.

"Burnley have put their confidence in me by spending a lot of money. Hopefully, I'll justify that fee. I'm looking forward to playing with Kurt Nogan. Hopefully, we'll hit it off together and we can get our share of goals."

Barnes, of course, was teaming up again with his mentor John Ward who had been a major factor in the transfer. Ward had signed Barnes for York earlier in his career and Barnes said of him: "I've a lot to be thankful to John Ward for. I learned a lot from John in my four seasons there (York). It will be great to work with him again."

We did, as Heath said, know what we were getting with Barnes. He'd already notched 100 league goals for his four clubs having started his career as a youngster with Notts County. He came through the junior teams at Meadow Lane and was beginning to establish himself in the first team.

However, as Notts headed for the top flight in 1990 under Neil Warnock, Barnes lost his place and in March was sold to Stoke City for £30,000 linking up with former England boss Alan Ball who was manager at the Victoria Ground.

He'd shown himself to be a goalscorer at Notts County but it didn't quite happen for him at Stoke. He scored only three league goals in over two years, was in and out of the side and even had a short loan at Chesterfield.

Then, in the summer of 1992, came the transfer that transformed his career. John Ward took him to York in a £50,000 deal and he became a prolific goalscorer for them. He passed the 20 goals in each of his first two seasons, helping York to promotion in 1993. The 1993/94 season saw him come up against the Clarets in three of York's four league and cup games against us and he scored in the league game at Turf Moor which we won 2-1 with two David Eyres goals.

As he continued to plunder the goals for York he clearly became a target for bigger clubs, and many stood up and took notice when he sensationally scored twice at Old Trafford as York won a League Cup tie 3-0 against Manchester United, even having a third wrongly ruled out for offside.

The inevitable transfer came and when it did, in March 1996, to Birmingham in a £350,000 deal, he'd scored a total of 76 league goals for York in just 148 games.

He went straight into Fry's team and by the end of the 1995/96 season had become a firm favourite with Birmingham fans after scoring seven goals in fourteen games, the last of those goals taking him to a century of league goals.

Francis replaced Fry and when the next season started Barnes was out in the cold. He wasn't given one opportunity and didn't feature once for Birmingham in the opening weeks of the season. That led to the move to Burnley with Heath and Ward keen to link him with Nogan who had scored twenty league goals for us in the previous season despite the relegation fight.

Barnes made his debut in a 1-0 defeat at Gillingham but by the beginning of October, and a 1-0 horror defeat at Stan Ternent's Bury, he'd played eight league and cup games and his goal return was still zero. Questions were being asked.

That all changed four days after the Gigg Lane defeat. Barnes opened his account against Stockport County at Turf Moor.  Just past the half hour Barnes finally got his first Burnley goal  and by half time we led 2-0 and he'd got the second.

He wasn't deterred when County pulled one back; four minutes later he'd got his hat trick and with just under twenty minutes to go he got number four. Stockport reduced the arrears to 4-2 but Barnes had the last word with a fifth goal, become the first Burnley player since Andy Lochhead to score five goals in a game and only the sixth in the club's history.

By the end of that season he'd scored no less than 24 league goals in 39 appearances. His partner Nogan, having got ten league goals, had a very public fall out with Heath and went to Preston whilst Cooke came in and got twelve league goals.

Even without Nogan, the future looked good with Barnes and Cooke as we went into the 1997/98 season. By then Heath had gone and Waddle was in.

After six league games, Barnes had failed to score, in fact Burnley had failed to score. We, and Barnes, broke the duck at his old club York but then we managed to turn a 1-0 lead into a 3-1 defeat.

Things weren't going quite so well as the team struggled. Barnes  reportedly had a fall out with assistant manager Glenn Roeder after one game, but even so he remained in the side and had played in all of the first 25 league games, scoring just six times.

Then news came of a potential transfer with Barnes going to Huddersfield with their striker Andy Payton coming to Turf Moor. That news broke on a Friday but the deal couldn't be pushed through; Barnes was considered not to be in the right frame of mind to play against league leaders Watford so we had neither him nor a new signing.

It didn't matter. We won 2-0 with two Cooke goals and by the time the next game came around the transfer had gone through and no matter what anyone's views were on Barnes I think it is a transfer that Burnley supporters will agree proved to be a good one for the club.

It was a straight swap and both players were by then 30; Payton is 24 days older than Barnes.

Whilst Payton scored the goals to keep Burnley up, a feat he repeated the following season before hitting 27 to take us up in 2000, it wasn't quite so successful a move for Barnes. He scored only twice for Huddersfield and moved for just £50,000 to Bury after just over a year, signed by Neil Warnock, the manager who first sold him.

His Football League career was coming to an end. During his time at Gigg Lane he enjoyed a loan with Nuneaton Borough, scoring ten in nine games. That was enough to persuade Doncaster to sign him and in the second of two seasons there his goals saw them back into the Football League. He won the Conference Golden Boot.

With Doncaster back in league football he was on the move again and played for both Tamworth and Hinckley United before hanging up his boots in 2005.

I suggested he'd be remembered for his first goals and his departure and I'm sure 'Stockport' and 'Andy Payton' would always come up in any discussion on Paul Barnes, a record signing for the Clarets.

Barnes' lost that record signing title in December 1999 when Steve Davis returned to Turf Moor from Luton in a £750,000 move.

By the time he'd called it a day he'd scored 140 Football League goals with a further 68 in non-league football, the sort of record that would have managers scrambling around with their cheque books to sign him today.

Burnley Match Reports

Premier League Sat 21st September 14:00

Burnley 2 - 0 Norwich City

Last game - Match Centre


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