Barnet Football Club
Barnet Football ClubIntroductionComplicated Origin
Barnet Football Club
The ‘Bees’ can be recognised through their distinctive black-and-amber strip, and a crest which depicts the green hill of High Barnet. They are currently playing in Football League Two, where they are enjoying an unremarkable season.
Current issues at the club include a long-running dispute with the local council concerning the stadium, Underhill, which is well below standards and desperately in need of a revamp. However, attempts to rebuild the ground, or to find a new ground entirely, have so far failed to materialise, despite promises from the Council that they will do all they can. The recent proposed move to South Underhill has been rejected, and the earlier plan to move to Copthall Stadium in Mill Hill was blocked, leaving the situation currently unresolved.
However, it will surely end up as a temporary glitch in the long and illustrious history of the club, which began somewhat confusingly in the Victorian era.
Barnet FC has over a century of football history, but its origins are slightly complicated. It originally formed in 1888, but before that had been known as both Woodville FC and later New Barnet FC. Known then as The Hillmen, their first ground was in New Barnet, before moving to Queen’s Road in 1889.
However, after just over a decade of relative success, including becoming the champions of the Premier Division in 1897 and subsequent promotion to the London League Division Two, in 1902 the club simply dissolved and was no more.
Barnet Avenue and Alston Works FC
The journey to becoming the Barnet FC that play today is slightly complicated. In 1890, a team called Barnet Avenue were formed. They were originally strong rivals of the first Barnet FC, but in 1904, with the disappearance of the club, they took the name themselves.
Another team named Alston Works FC was formed in 1901, but they later changed their name to Barnet Alston FC. In 1907, they moved to Underhill, which is the current ground for Barnet FC.
Then in 1912, the two teams merged to form Barnet and Alston FC, changing their name once again following the First World War to Barnet FC, becoming the team that we know to this day.
Barnet and Alston FC were founder members of the Athenian League in 1912, which they would be part of for the next 50 years. During this time they would become the League champions on no less than 7 occasions, the first of which came in the 1930/31 season, when they won it by 12 points. They immediately built on this record by going on to repeat the feat the following year, albeit by a lesser margin.
1938 saw them win the London Senior Cup by beating Leyton 4-0, but it wasn’t until after the Second World War that things started to get really exciting, as the club experienced some rather special moments in football history.
The first of these was in October 1946, when the first ever live TV match was broadcast on the BBC from Underhill. 20 minutes of the first half were shown, followed by 35 minutes of the second half before it became too dark to see.
The following year, Barnet invited the Sing Tao Sports Club to play at Underhill, marking the first ever Chinese team to play in England. They did not show any mercy to their well-travelled guests, however, beating them 5-3.
The end of the Athenian League
Between 1946 and 1948, Barnet performed another double success by taking the Athenian League title twice successively. For some reason, the title always seemed to come in pairs for the club and, remarkably, they performed the same feat again in 1964 and 1965.
By the time they left the Athenian League after 52 years in 1965 to join the Southern League First Division, they had 6 titles and 6 runner-up spots. This marked the moment the club turned semi-professional.
Top of the League
In their first match as semi-professionals, they thrashed Hinckley Athletic 10-1 in a thrilling performance. This propelled them throughout the season and they ended up finishing top of the League.
In the 1969/70 season, they reached the semi-final of the first ever FA Trophy. It was a shame not to reach the final, but the following season was even more successful as they reached the third round of the FA Cup, beating Newport County 6-1 along the way, a feat which equalled the all-time record of a non-League win over a League side.
The 1970/71 season was one of the most successful seasons on record. They reached the final of the FA Trophy, although they lost 3-0 to Stafford Rangers. They also reached the final of the Southern League Cup, drawing with Hereford 2-2 both in the first match and in the replay, which led to a nail-biting penalty shoot-out in which they triumphed 7-6.
The next few years were a bumpy ride for the club. In 1974 George Sanderson, their respected president, died leaving a huge gap to fill. In 1975 they were relegated to Southern League Division One South, but in 1977 they triumphed again and went back to the Southern League Premier. It was during this time that one of their most famous players, Jimmy Greaves, was putting in performances for the club.
From 1986 to 1990, Barnet finished runners up three times out of four in the GM Vauxhall Conference, but in the 1990/91 season they finally got their break, fighting with Colchester, Kettering Town and Altrincham to gain promotion.
Divisions Four, Three and Two
Barnet showed a strong start to their League campaign, finishing a credible seventh, and only just missing out to a play-off position.
The following season saw the creation of the FA Premiership, and Division Four became Division Three. Barnet did amazingly well to finish third and gain promotion to Division Two.
The 1993/94 season was pretty much a disaster, however, as 28 losses proved too many to keep them up and they returned to Division Three. During the season they managed, however, to get a 0-0 draw against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup third round, which was a rare highlight in an otherwise forgettable season.
In the years leading up to the beginning of the Millennium they went on to safeguard their place in Division Three, but in the 2000/01 season 25 losses meant that they were sinking back to the Conference, ending their ten-year stretch as a League side. The ongoing battle with Barnet Council was also at the forefront of the club’s thoughts, with plans for a new stadium at South Underhill being rejected, again threatening the existence of the club in Barnet.
The 2002/03 season was fairly unspectacular on the pitch, and off the pitch problems persisted with Barnet Council and plans for the new stadium at South Underhill. As the plans were rejected once again, the future began to look bleak for the club as a whole.
The following season proved far more successful, with Barnet reaching the playoffs but being beaten on penalties by Shrewsbury Town.
Football League Two
In 2004/2005, however, they went one better, taking the Conference by storm. They performed so well that, even with weeks to go before the end of the season, they had already secured their place in the renamed Coca Cola Football League Two once again. They won with 86 points, and scored 90 goals along the way, ending 12 points ahead of nearest rivals Hereford United.
Their run of confidence did not stretch to Division Three, however, as they faced a relegation following a nervous campaign. They somehow managed to stay up, only managing 5 points above the relegation zone.
The year will be remembered, however, for the Carling Cup match against Manchester United. Although it provided a financial boost to the club, it ended in heartbreak when goalkeeper Ross Flitrey was sent off in the second minute in a controversial decision for which the referee later apologised. Things did not go well for Barnet for the entire match, and they ended up losing 4-1.
2006/07 saw them finish 14th in League Two, but their real triumph came in the FA Cup where they reached the fourth round for the first time in their history, beating Colchester United, a Championship side, 2-1 in the third round. However, they ended up losing to Plymouth Argyle 2-0 on 27th January.
The current 2007/08 season has seen them enjoy a 10-match unbeaten run, although they currently languish around the middle of the table.
The club can be contacted through the website or through the following methods:
Tickets: 020 8449 6325
General Inquiries: 020 8441 6932
Fax: 020 8447 0655
Barnet Football Club
The ticket office is open on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 10.00am-12.00pm and 2.00pm-5.00pm, and Match Day Saturdays from 11.00am.
- Main Stand (covered seating) : £20
- East Terrace Central and South (covered standing) : £15
- East Terrace North (covered standing – away supporters only): £15
- Family Stand (covered seating) : £16
- South Stand: £15
- North and West Terraces (uncovered standing) : £13
- Under 12s: £5 (entrance to anywhere in the ground with a voucher available from the Ticket Office)
Under 18’s or students with a valid NUS Card can obtain a voucher from the Ticket Office which will entitle them to a £4 discount.
- Adult: £231.50
- Youth/OAP: £150
- Junior: £34
- Adult: £173.50
- Youth/OAP: £92.50
Junior applies to anyone aged under 12.
Youth applies to anyone aged between 12 and 18.
OAP applies to anyone aged 60 and over.
Leave the M25 at Junction 23, and follow until you reach the A1081. Carry on down the A1081 until you reach the junction with the A1000, and then go up Barnet High Street. Carry on along the road until you reach the station, where you can park your car. From here, walk to the main road and then down the hill. Underhill is located just behind the Old Red Lion pub.
Tube is the most convenient way to reach Underhill by public transport. You should take the Northern Line to High Barnet Station, and then follow the directions given above to the stadium.
For full details of travel to Underhill, the supporters’ website has a useful section.
- North Middlesex League Premier Division Champions: 1897
- London League Division Two Champions: 1898
- Athenian League Champions: 1931, 1932, 1947, 1948, 1959, 1964, 1965; runners-up 1938, 1960, 1962, 1963
- FA Amateur Cup Champions: 1946
- London Senior Cup Champions:1938, 1941, 1947
- London Charity Cup Champions: 1947, 1960
- Hertfordshire Senior Challenge Cup Champions: 1942, 1945, 1946, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1958, 1961, 1963
- Middlesex Senior Cup Champions: 1932, 1933
- Herts & Middlesex League Cup Champions: 1945
- Southern League Division One Champions: 1966
- Southern League Cup Champions: 1972
- Southern League Division One South Champions: 1977
- Football Conference Champions: 1991, 2005
- Hertfordshire Senior Challenge Cup Champions: 1986, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 2007