RIP Barry Francis

A Blues favourite at Rhodes Avenue and a regular supporter of Stortford until recently, Barry Francis passed away on 22nd November aged 84 with his funeral this Friday 11th December.
He began his football career at neighbouring Stansted in 1955 although he made his Stortford debut in September of the same year when in the side for a Delphian League match away at Rainham Town. A speedy winger, Barry went on to make 211 appearances for Stortford and score 59 goals that included two hat-tricks. He became a regular in the side in the 1957/58 season but then joined Leytonstone the following campaign and was a member of the Stones’ side that reached the FA Amateur Cup Semi-Final only to lose 2-0 to the eventual winners Crook Town in front of 24,000 spectators at Sunderland’s old ground Roker Park.

Barry returned to Stortford in 1961 and was an outstanding player in the following years. In the 1962/63 term he helped them reach the FA Amateur Cup Quarter-final before losing out to Wimbledon. In the same season he scored one of the goals as Stortford beat St Albans City 3-1 to lift the Herts Charity Cup. In the following season he was in the side that won the Herts Senior Cup over two legs against Hertford Town. Barry was then a member of the Bishop’s team that won the Athenian League Division 1 in 1965/66. His last match was in February 1967 when scored in a Herts Senior Cup tie against Harpenden Town.

Barry became a willing worker on the club committee and was called into service towards the end of the 1976/77 season as caretaker manager and his efforts saved Stortford from relegation.
Barry continued his support of the club both at Rhodes Avenue and until recently from the Brian Bayford stand at Woodside Park.

The club sends their deepest condolences to Barry’s family and friends at this time.