OF BARNET FOOTBALL CLUB
Avenue & Barnet Alston (1901–1919)
Alston Works AFC, later Barnet Alston FC, became champions of the London League in 1906/7. In 1907 they moved to the club's current ground at Underhill, Barnet Lane. Their first match was a 1–0 win over Crystal Palace FC on 14 September 1907. After merging with the Avenue team in 1912 they spearheaded the new Athenian League as Barnet and Alston FC. After the First World War in 1919 they became the third instance of Barnet FC. This team continues today.
The Athenian League years (1912–1965)
During the 1920s Barnet consolidated their amateur status in the Athenian League under team secretary Tom Goss. He arranged for junior players from Tottenham Hotspur to play for the club including Taffy O'Callaghan, Willie Evans and Bill Whatley, all of whom eventually became internationals, between them gaining 17 Welsh caps.
The 1930/1 season saw Barnet gain their first Athenian League Championship to be repeated again the following season. Included in the team at that time were George Hughes and Fred Garrett, full backs; Reg Wright (England), centre-half; and Arthur Morris, Jack Richardson and a Barnet and England legend Lester Finch in the forward line.
In the two seasons after World War II, Barnet won the FA Amateur Cup (beating Bishop Auckland 3–2), the Athenian League Championship twice, and the London Senior Cup. The side included five internationals in Ted Bunker, George Wheeler, Dennis Kelleher, Ron Phipps and Lester Finch. In the 1958/9 season, their young team coached by George Wheeler, reached the FA Amateur Cup final for the third time, but were beaten 3–2 by Crook Town.
In October 1946, the first live televised football match was broadcast by the BBC from Underhill. Twenty minutes of the game against Wealdstone were televised in the first half and thirty five minutes of the second half before it became too dark. In 1947, Barnet FC played Sing Tao Sports Club, winners of the Hong Kong Football League at Underhill. They were the first Chinese club to ever play in the United Kingdom. Barnet won 5–3.
Non League years (1965–1991)
In 1965–66 Barnet turned semi-professional. Before the season commenced, manager Dexter Adams made two astute signings. He persuaded Les Eason, then 20 years of age, to join from Finchley and then acquired amateur international Barry King from Hitchin, who became the first player to sign professional forms for the club. The first game finished in Barnet’s favour, a 10–1 win over Hinckley Athletic. Les Eason went on to score 31 goals in his first season as the club became champions of the Southern League Division I.
Promoted to the Southern League Premier for 1966-7 the club ended up 5th but had reached the Southern League Cup final only to lose to Guildford City over two legs. In 1969–70 the FA Trophy was introduced and Barnet reached the semi-final before losing to Macclesfield 0–1 at Stoke. The club reached the third round of the FA Cup the following season, but lost 1–0 to Colchester, who went on to knock out Leeds in the next round. That year's cup run included a 6–1 first round win over then Fourth Division Newport County, equalling the competition's all-time record for a win by a non-league side over league opponents.
The 1971–72 season proved one of the most successful. Using just 15 players for 80 competitive matches Barnet reached Wembley in the FA Trophy, losing 3–0 to Stafford Rangers and reached the final of the Southern League Cup, drawing 2–2 with Hereford on aggregate. The replay, played next season, was a 2–2 draw but Barnet went on to win 7–6 on penalties. In 1972-3 Barnet put up a tremendous fight against Queens Park Rangers in the third round of the FA Cup. The match at Loftus Road ended 0–0 and the replay at Underhill drew in excess of 11,000 spectators. Rangers eventually won 3–0.
In 1975 Barnet were relegated back to the Southern League Division One South but two years later they won the championship and returned to the Southern League Premier. It was during this period that many famous names played for the club including Jimmy Greaves, Marvin Hinton, Bob McNab, Terry Mancini and John Fairbrother. Jimmy Greaves, although playing in midfield, still ended the season leading goal scorer with 27 goals.
By virtue of their Premier Division positions in seasons 1977-8 and 1978-9 Barnet were given a place in the newly formed Alliance Premier League. In the first three Alliance seasons, Barnet just avoided relegation, but in 1982-3 they finished 15th and a year later 9th. Then in 1984–85, when it looked like Barnet would face relegation, manager Barry Fry left to take charge at Maidstone United. The season was resurrected under the guidance of ex-player Roger Thompson losing only one of their remaining thirteen league games.
In season 1985–86 they finished 14th but reached the final of the Bob Lord Trophy only to lose to old friends Stafford Rangers. Dom MacAllister replaced Roger Thompson and then in July 1986, Barry Fry returned, much to the delight of the supporters. He led Barnet to their best league position for many years finishing runners-up in the renamed Football Conference scoring 86 goals.
Despite turbulent times off the field, during season 1986–87 the club maintained their scoring, again finishing runners-up, Scarborough taking the automatic position into the Fourth Division. Lincoln City came down but in 1987–88 they returned ahead of Barnet in the championship. 1988–89 was another indifferent season, at one time looking like relegation prospects the team secured 8th place, in the process using no fewer that 47 players! Amazingly 1989–90 saw Barnet yet again finish runners-up in the Conference. This time it was Darlington that took the top spot
A good run in the 1990–91 FA Cup culminated in a home defeat by Portsmouth in the 3rd round. A win in the last game of the season against Fisher Athletic finally saw Barnet promoted to the Fourth Division of the Football League.
The Football League (1991-2001)
The 1992–93 season saw controversy at Underhill as Barnet chairman Stan Flashman regarding club accounts and players' wages, resulting in some nationwide back page headlines. Flashman also brought his son, Mark, to the club as a reserve goalkeeper. In spite of the financial problems, Barnet finished third in the new Division Three and secured the final automatic promotion spot. Manager Barry Fry, however, left Barnet with a handful of games remaining and was replaced by his assistant Edwin Stein, who himself then left to join Fry in the summer at Southend United. Goalkeeper Gary Phillips took over as manager during a difficult summer in which Barnet marginally survived a vote of expulsion by a Football League EGM, and lost the vast majority of their promotion winning side in a tribunal which nullified the players' contracts. Phillips cobbled together a squad from the few remaining player and free transfers. In January 1994 Phillips was assisted by former England goalkeeper Ray Clemence, but were still relegated from Division Two. In August 1994 Ray Clemence became sole manager for two seasons, finishing 9th and 11th in Division Three. Then at the start of the 1996/7 season Ray Clemence left to become England goalkeeping coach leaving Terry Bullivant in charge.
Barnet's first season in Division Two ended in relegation and Clemence left in 1996 to be replaced by Alan Mullery (after a brief caretaker stint by Terry Bullivant and Terry Gibson). During the years up to 2000 Barnet established themselves in the basement division reaching two playoff semi-finals under new manager John Still, losing to Colchester United and Peterborough United respectively. But the club lost its league status in 2001 after ten years following a season which had seen Still resign and briefly be replaced by Tony Cottee before Still was reinstated. Still resigned again shortly after Barnet's return to the Conference and was replaced by Peter Shreeves.
Life in the Conference (2001–2005)
The 2008–09 season started poorly, and by late September only the three teams that had been docked points prior to the start of the season had lower league positions. After a run of thirteen games without a win in any competition Paul Fairclough announced his resignation to take up a role as director and leaving the first team duties to his assistant Ian Hendon. Fairclough would take over one last game which resulted in a 2–0 win against another relegation threatened side AFC Bournemouth. Results improved, and before the end of the season Hendon was made permanent boss on a 2 year contract. The Bees stayed in Football League Two for the following 2009-10 season, which started with four wins from their first six games. A poor run of form would follow, including a 13 game winless streak, and after five consecutive defeats left the Bees close to the relegation zone, Ian Hendon was sacked in April with two games of the season remaining. Paul Fairclough returned as caretaker manager for the last two games and guided the Bees to safety with a 1–0 win at home to Rochdale on the last day of the season. On 1 June 2010 Mark Stimson was appointed as the new manager and after a poor start to the season was sacked on 1 January 2011.
Club crest and nickname
The club's nickname of "The Bees", reflected in their amber and black shirts, is likely to have come from the location of apiaries close to the Underhill ground in the early years of the 20th century.
With promotion to the league in the 1990s, rivalries developed with the likes of Leyton Orient and Fulham though neither reached the mutual hatred felt with Enfield, especially with Fulham's meteoric rise to the Premiership.
More recently a rivalry developed with Hertfordshire outfit Stevenage Borough during the club's stay in the Conference between 2001 and 2005. The rivalry grew with home and away attendances increasing with every game played, but with Barnet's promotion in 2005 and Borough's continued failure to follow suit, the sides have only met in the Herts Senior Cup since. This will change in the 2010-11 season, after Stevenage's successful promotion to League Two, the match ended in a 3-0 win to Stevenage.
Similarly, matches with Brentford have been dubbed "The Battle Of The Bees" owing to the two sides being nicknamed The Bees. The rivalry is generally good natured, with the two sets of supporters exchanging nickname-based taunts.
Club vs. Council
There have always been problems with the ground, Underhill, which is in need of modernisation. A controversial sale of the ground's freehold in 2002 to the Club by the London Borough of Barnet has failed to produce any changes to the stadium. Meanwhile, the council have publicly said they will do what they can to help the club but this help has never materialised; indeed, many Keep Barnet Alive (KBA) supporters consider the loss of the local council seat to the Conservative Party to have been detrimental to their cause. Attempts by the club to sort out the ground issue, either by making improvements to the current site or by finding a site elsewhere in the borough, have so far failed.
The Keep Barnet Alive (KBA) movement has been central to fighting Barnet FC's corner on this issue.
negotiations with Barnet Council have resulted in a new planning application
to modernise the existing ground. This includes rebuilding both the north
and south stands to comply with the League requirement of 2,000 additional
covered seats. After some modifications this application was passed by
Barnet Council's planning committee in December 2007 and building work
commenced on a new South Stand. The building work progressed at incredible
speed and it took only a month for the new stand to be built. Work also
took place on a new North Stand, this involves a small, temporary, covered
structure, just to the right of the North Terrace. Away fans now use this
As you can see this was written some time ago and to many the real Barnet ceased to exhist when they moved away from Underhill and the Borough.
I agree with this and no more will be added to this page