Simon Barker

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Simon Barker
Personal information
Full nameSimon Barker [1]
Date of birth (1964-11-04) 4 November 1964 (age 55)
Place of birth Farnworth, England
Height 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m) [2]
Playing position(s) Midfielder
Youth career
1978–1983 Blackburn Rovers
Senior career*
1983–1988 Blackburn Rovers 182 (35)
1988–1998 Queens Park Rangers 315 (33)
1998–1999 Port Vale 32 (2)
National team
1985–1986 England U21 4 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Simon Barker (born 4 November 1964) is an English former footballer. A blond haired, tough tackling midfielder, he scored 84 goals in 619 league and cup appearances throughout a 16-year career in the English Football League. He also represented England under-21s four times.


He began his career at Blackburn Rovers in 1983, winning the Full Members Cup with the club in 1987, before moving on to Queens Park Rangers the following year for £400,000. He played 351 league and cup games for QPR, before moving on to Port Vale in 1998. He retired in November 1999, and went on to work for the Professional Footballers' Association.

Playing career

Blackburn Rovers

Barker began his career at Blackburn Rovers under Bobby Saxton's stewardship in 1983, having been Noel Brotherston's boot boy as an apprentice. [3] He had chosen to join Rovers ahead of Manchester United as he felt he had a better chance of breaking into the first-team at Ewood Park. [4] Rovers finished sixth in the Second Division in 1983–84, three places and 13 points outside of the promotion zone. They moved up to fifth in 1984–85, just two places and one point behind promoted Manchester City. Blackburn then dropped down to 19th in 1985–86, just one place and three points above relegated Carlisle United; Barker was voted the club's Player of the Year at the end of the campaign. New manager Don Mackay then rallied them to a 12th-place finish in 1986–87. Barker played for Rovers in the 1987 Full Members Cup Final at Wembley, where Colin Hendry's goal was enough to beat Charlton Athletic 1–0. [5] Blackburn reached the play-offs in 1987–88, but were defeated at the semi-final stage by top-flight Chelsea.

Queens Park Rangers

He joined First Division club Queens Park Rangers in 1988 for a fee of £400,000, a club record for both Blackburn and QPR. [3] He made his debut in a 0–0 draw against Manchester United in September of that year. Rangers finished ninth in 1988–89 under Trevor Francis, eleventh in 1989–90 and twelfth in 1990–91 under Don Howe, and eleventh again in 1991–92 under Gerry Francis. Barker helped Rangers post a fifth-place finish in the first ever season of Premier League football in 1992–93, a feat which made them the top club in London. They dropped to ninth in 1993–94, before finishing eighth in 1994–95 under new manager Ray Wilkins. However the sale of top-scorer Les Ferdinand to Newcastle United hit QPR hard, and they were relegated in 1995–96, though Barker did find the net against West London rivals Chelsea. New boss Stewart Houston failed to bring immediate promotion back to the top-flight, as they finished five points outside the play-offs. The club struggled in 1997–98, finishing just one point and one place above relegated Manchester City. After a testimonial match against Jamaica, Barker left Loftus Road for Port Vale. Barker made 351 appearances for QPR in all competitions, scoring 41 goals.

Port Vale

Barker scored on his return to Loftus Road on 5 December 1998, though the "Valiants" lost the game 3–2. [4] He played a total of 25 games in 1998–99, as the club went through a turbulent period by replacing manager John Rudge with Brian Horton. Barker featured just six times at Vale Park in the 1999–2000 campaign, and retired at the end of his contract in November after picking up an injury. [6]


After retiring as a player he went on to become a senior executive for the Professional Footballers' Association. [7]


Source: [8] [9]

ClubSeasonDivisionLeagueFA CupOtherTotal
Blackburn Rovers 1983–84 Second Division 2832000303
1984–85 Second Division3824020442
1985–86 Second Division411030104510
1986–87 Second Division4211101065317
1987–88 Second Division3391040389
Queens Park Rangers 1988–89 First Division 2513080361
1989–90 First Division2839230405
1990–91 First Division3511051412
1991–92 First Division3461062418
1992–93 Premier League 2512010281
1993–94 Premier League3751142428
1994–95 Premier League3744030444
1995–96 Premier League3350040375
1996–97 First Division3842020424
1997–98 First Division2330020263
Port Vale 1998–99 First Division2720000272
1999–2000 First Division50001060
Career total52970343561161984


Blackburn Rovers

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  1. "Simon Barker". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  2. "FootballSquads - Port Vale - 1999/00". Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  3. 1 2 3 Dewhurst, Tony (17 February 2014). "It's simple for Simon, Rovers cup joy was his finest time". Lancashire Telegraph. Retrieved 26 April 2018.
  4. 1 2 Norris, Ron. "The Simon Barker Interview". QPRnet. Retrieved 26 April 2018.
  5. Rob Maul (20 February 2005). "Caught in Time: Blackburn Rovers win Full Members Cup, 1987". Sunday Times. Retrieved 26 November 2010. (subscription required)
  6. "Barker: Rudge was unbelievable". 27 January 2012. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  7. Shaw, Steve (2 March 2011). "Port Vale: I have no case to answer over coach bust-up, claims Gannon". The Sentinel . Archived from the original on 5 March 2011. Retrieved 2 March 2011.
  8. Simon Barker at the English National Football Archive (subscription required)
  9. Simon Barker at Soccerbase OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg