John Barnes was an exciting Black footballer playing for Liverpool in the 1980’s and 90’s.
Three years after his spectacular solo goal for England against Brazil at Rio’s Maracana Stadium the exciting Jamaican-born winger was signed from Watford for 900,000 pounds by Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish in 1987 as part of his team reshaping following the departure of Ian Rush to Juventus.
Barnes linked up with other new recruits Peter Beardsley, Ray Houghton and John Aldridge in a swashbuckling lineup that swept to the Championship in style, with Barnes scoring 15 times in 38 outings.
John Barnes will always be remembered as a brave man though as he shrugged off racist abuse in 1987, bananas were hurled at him during a match.Liverpool also equaled the record of 29 League games unbeaten from the start of the season and reached the FA Cup Final, losing to Wimbledon.
The impact of Barnes earned him the votes of both the football writers and his fellow professionals of the PFA as the 1988 double Footballer of the year. The following season he won a FA Cup medal and in 1989-90 his 22 goals earned him a second title medal.
During Graeme Souness’s period as manager Barnes was appointed club captain and switched from the wing to a central midfield role.
After Roy Evans had taken over as manager, Barnes won a Coca-Cola Cup medal in 1994-95.
He joined Newcastle United in 1997, received an MBE a year later and after a loan spell with Charlton became Celtic coach in 1999, though he was to part company with them early in 2000.
In 2008 Barnes took over as manager of the Jamaica National team, and had some success, guiding the team to the 2008 Caribbean Championships, qualifying as the top Caribbean side for the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
However Barnes was hankering to be back in club football and after an unsuccessful bid to manage Port Vale, he was appointed Tranmere Rovers manager in June 2009.
Tranmere had a terrible run of form resulting in Barnes being sacked after just 12 games.
Barnes is also involved with the creation of TEAM48 motorsport, a team aiming to promote young racing drivers of Caribbean background.