Ken Barnes, former Man City player and coach, dies at 81 - Manchester City FC

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Ken Barnes August 1956
Season 2010/11

Ken Barnes 1929-2010

  • 14 July 2010 11:14
  • Posted by Peter Ferguson

Manchester City regret to report that Ken Barnes, a great servant to the Club, has passed away aged 81.

Widely regarded as one of the finest players of his generation not to win an England cap, Ken spent most of his working life with the football club that he loved.

An attacking wing-half or midfielder for 11 years as a player at Maine Road, he returned in subsequent roles as coach, assistant manager and latterly chief scout.

Ken, the father of former City and England winger Peter, was also responsible for bringing through the crop of youngsters who won the FA Youth Cup in 1986.

City Life President and long-serving secretary Bernard Halford said: "Ken was a true Manchester City man in every sense and his passing is a dreadful loss to the Club and to all those who had the pleasure of knowing him.

"Few have ever, or will ever, show such commitment and dedication to this Club as Ken did and there are a great many City players over the years who owe their career or development to his skills as a scout and a coach.

"From a personal point of view, Ken was a great friend of mine for almost 50 years. He was a fantastic player, a wonderful character and his influence over this club over the years cannot be underestimated."

Ken broke into the side that reached the 1955 FA Cup Final against Newcastle, and was there to have a hand in City's second goal a year later when Birmingham were beaten 3-1.

He succeeded Roy Paul as skipper in 1957, and was described by Denis Law as the “the best uncapped wing-half ever to have played in English football.”

Ken made 283 appearances for City, scoring 19 goals, and later returned to the club as a coach, later becoming assistant to manager Johnny Hart in 1973.

He was City's chief scout for two decades, overseeing the development of many young City stars including Paul Lake, David White and Steve Redmond.

Mr Halford said: "He was a strong believer in allowing children to enjoy their football, rather than coaching all instinct out of them, and thought free expression the key to successful football."

In total, Ken Barnes spent 46 years of his life at Manchester City Football Club and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2004. He will be sadly missed by all at the Club.

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