• Orpington FC

Barry Watkins Memorial Match

In memory of one of our former Orpington FC managers, Barry Watkins, on 28th August there will be a memorial match between the two sides he managed in the 90's & 00's. The match is a 12:00 kick off at Goddington Park. With aims to have a drink afterwards in the Chelsfield pub as a chance to see some old faces there to have share some laughs and old memories.

Barry Watkins was kind enough to give up his time to positively influence over 30 boys lives, with his dedication to football, coaching and team spirit, all of us created great memories and learnt life lessons that will stay with us always. That dedication to a load of mis-fits twice over inspired us to play on for a supportive, dedicated coach and manager, for each other and to go on and coach ourselves.

Barry became our coach in 94/95 and then manager in 1997, season 99/2000 we moved from Chelsfield to Orpington to play our final season together as under 17's. I became a coach for Barry in 2000 for an under 11's team that trained at Goddington park in that summer and The team played at Westcombe park until they were under 17's. many players from both teams went on to represent Orpington at senior level. I particularly remember Barry's coaching technique of jockeying - something he drummed into us and spent a lot of time on the training ground perfecting, he served both teams well as his teams were set up to have a disciplined solid back line with defenders to be hard to beat and a ruthless streak in the tackle and allowed the creative players to go and express themselves and get at players. He was able to spot players strengths and play to them re-developing full backs and wide players to complete centre midfielders. Barry's teams won cups but a playing memory that sticks out because it was all about showing the heart, the fight and the never give up attitude was an away day in South London and going 4-0 down and regrouping pulling it together with a couple of changes and turning it to a 5-4 win, the other team we so upset they chased poor Banksie up and down the road and he still had the energy to laugh and run.

I can't think of Barry without remembering his laugh and his whole face cracking up, usually at our expense. As a manager he really looked out for us, this was shown when after a few too many beers and red buller (that's how they said it) and vodkas on a tour to Belgium, I decided I would jump over a jagged barrier straight after our goalkeeper shaggy leaped over (who was about a foot taller than me) I realised I wouldn't make it and split my trousers and everything inside them. Caring Barry threw me some spray saying spray that on it will be fine! Trusting my manager, I did as he said and wow I can still feel the sting and see his face crying with laughter when I screamed.

Thank you very, very much we all really appreciate it. Kind Regards Ryan Canty

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