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GCR Books

Paul Barron: Arsenal’s reserve keeper in the multiple-cup era

By Tony Attwood

Paul Barron (born 16 September 1953) was a reserve goalkeeper for Arsenal who played 8 league games between 1978 and 1980.

He was born in Woolwich, near Arsenal’s original ground in Plumstead, and somewhat along the lines of Bob Wilson qualified as a PE teacher before becoming a professional footballer.

He played non-league football for Welling United, Wycombe Wanderers and Slough Town, before turning pro and signing for Plymouth Argyle in July 1976.

Terry Neill bought him to Arsenal for £70,000 in July 1978 and after his two year stint as back up to Jennings he moved to Crystal Palace with Kenny Sansom coming the other way in August 1980.    During his time at Arsenal, the club were going through the three FA Cups and the CWC Final in three years (with multiple replays), and so he tended to get games in order to give Jennings (who played from 1977 to 1985)  a rest.

At Crystal Palace Paul Barron played under the management of Terry Venables but the club were relegated in 1980/1.  He then joined West Bromwich Albion in December 1982 and spent three years there including one year as an ever present player in the league.

In 1984/5 he joined Stoke City and played once before joining Queens Park Rangers in August 1985.  He appeared in the 1986 Football League Cup Final for QPR, in their defeat by Oxford United.   After loan periods with Reading and Stoke he returned to non-league playing for Welling and Cheltenham.

Since retiring from playing he has since been a goalkeeping coach with Birmingham, Aston Villa and Middlesbrough, and can include on his cv being sent to the stands at White Hart Lane after being judged to have made too many protests about Gareth Bale’s opening goal.

In November 2007 he left Boro to become goalkeeping coach at Newcastle United and left Newcastle United in December 2010 following the departure of manager Chris Hughton and is now the goal keeping coach of Nottingham Forest.

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