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Barrie Thomas (1961/62 to 1964/65)

Barrie Thomas
Barrie Thomas
Barrie Thomas
Bth 19/05//37 Measham Leics.
P/H/W CF 5ft 8in or 10in
Jnd 18/01/62 Scunthorpe £45,000
Deb 20/01/62 Huddersfield (H) D2
Dep 11/64 Sconthorpe £20,000
A/G 78 50

Centre-forward Barrie Thomas was signed from fellow Division 2 club Scunthorpe and the hefty £45,000 fee (although it was reported as £40,000 in some places) paid for his services broke Newcastle’s transfer record.

Although Barry was the top scorer in the Football League at the time he had the unenviable task of taking over the Number 9 shirt from club legend and fan favourite Len White.

A bustling sort, Barrie's ball control was not the best and he was not particularly skilful or clever. Nor could you say that he was particularly a team player. Goals were what he lived for and he delivered consistently throughout his time on Tyneside.

He could certainly crack a ball and had the knack of being in the right place at the right time. And his goal scoring percentages are up there with some of the best strikers the club has had, albeit all of Barrie’s goals were scored in the second tier.

He had a hell of a shot when he connected properly, but his finishing was rather erratic. On his debut, he had a shot at goal at the Leazes End which ended up on the roof of the stand and his shooting could certainly be wayward. He also missed a fair share of “sitters”.

Though lacking in height, he was very stocky and had a decent leap on him and was a good header of the ball. He was also lightning quick, though prone to straying offside, and benefitted from Jim Iley’s long passes.

Despite not being a great footballer he always played his heart out and centre-halves always new they were in for a game when they faced him. He chased anything and everything and always gave 100 percent.

Barrie was the sort of striker who would have sold his granny for goals and nothing would stop him attempting to get a strike in. On one occasion a defender knelt down to try and head the ball only for Barrie to kick him in the forehead to put the ball in the net. Goal given.

In another incident, captured on camera, he's in mid air trying to divert a shot from Colin “cannonball” Taylor with his head. If he had connected with it he may well have been decapitated.

Due to his scoring record it was a major surprise when Newcastle agreed to sell him back to Scunthorpe. His recurrent injury issues may have played a part, but the story put out in the ‘papers was that Harvey, who had recently sold Len Walker and Colin Taylor, was wanting to generate further funds to strengthen other positions. In particular he was after on outside-left and Newcastle were one of a number of clubs credited with an interest in the promising Swindon youngster Don Rogers.

Although neither the player or his wife wanted to leave Tyneside he was philosophical about the situation. “It looks like the end of the road for me at Newcastle, they evidently feel they have better cover at centre than other positions so what’s the use of fighting fate".

Jaguar-driving Barrie had an unusual superstition, In his pre-United days he had scored a hat trick and had his shorts rolled up really tight and from then on he repeated his unique shorts manoeuvre.

Season by Season (details to follow)

Pre Toon

Barrie started down the pits before signing full-time at Leicester where he played at inside-forward and made his debut at seventeen. A free transfer to Mansfield followed where he was switched to the centre and broke their post-war scoring record. This earned him a £5,000 move to Scunthorpe. He continued to score regularly and in 1961/62 he netted a remarkable 31 goals in 21 games for the Irons by January. There was talk of a move to First Division Fulham and Leeds made bids too, but it was Newcastle who moved in with an offer that couldn’t be refused.

1961/62 (18 - 10)

1962/63 (26 - 16)

1963/64 (27 - 21)

1964/65 (7 - 3)


Painting by Piotr

Special thanks to all the input from the members of the Facebook group Classic Photographs of Newcastle and of the East End