Home > Football > Nick Barmby….A proper legend.

Nick Barmby….A proper legend.

I first came across Nick Barmby as a 14-year-old. I had just left home and was at The FA National Centre of Excellence at Lilleshall. It was a sad day. My parents had just left. I was young and  not really sure what was going on during my first day there. I was one of 16 new boys there who were coming into a group of 16 older lads who would be our ‘seniors’.

I remember Nick taking the time to assure me and the other new lads that it would all be fine. He had been in our shoes a year before so it was nice to hear.

Although at that stage in our very early careers Nick stood out amongst the other talented players. At that time all of the selected squad thought that they were going to have long, distinguished careers. That is never the case unfortunately among the elite youth generations although Nick was that good that it would have been a major surprise if he had not ‘made it’.

He had signed for Tottenham. All of the top clubs had wanted his signature and he was easily the most talented player of that year group. Everything seemed so easy to him.

I looked up to him so much during my time at Lilleshall. He was a striker, same as me I just wanted to be half as good as he was at that time.

Since leaving Lilleshall his career has been amazing.

Our paths didn’t cross too often. He was in the top flight and I was a million miles from that for the majority of my career. While at Scunthorpe United we did draw Everton in an early round of The League Cup. During the warm up he came over into our half to see how I was and have a chat. It could have been so easy for him not to do that. You don’t forget things like that.

To play for that many top clubs as well as for England is certainly no fluke. What impresses me is his time at Hull City. He was at a stage of his career, at Leeds Utd, where he took a bit of flack. He could so easily have packed it all in and looked back at a glorious career. But he made it clear that he always wanted to play for Hull City, his hometown club. As I left for Hull City for Bristol Rovers, Nick came in to take the number 8 squad number I had worn. It was a sign that Hull City were on the up. Many people may have thought that he just wanted an easy end to his career in League 1 with Hull City but he has had a second wind and been a major force as Hull City evolved in to a Premier League club.

His professionalism is something which is attracting comments from his manager and he looks to be somebody who should always have a role to play of some kind at The KC Stadium for many years to come. I gather that he is combining his playing role with  coaching the younger generations of Hull City youngsters. What a perfect role model for them. A local lad done well and who wants to put something back.

But for now I’m sure that Nick will want to play for as long as he possibly can.

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