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David Barber - FA Librarian

Cultural and Education Section of the British Embassy - British Council
 This article was generously provided to ClubFootball by the British Council, which operates in China as the Cultural and Education Section of the British Embassy.


David Barber has the distinction of being the Football Association's librarian. He has worked at the FA for 26 years and has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the English game.

But David is not simply preoccupied with the glamour of the National team, the Premier League, or for that matter the Nationwide league. In fact David goes to see an average of 150 games in a season. Incredibly the 1999-2000 season saw him notch up 187 games and since 1960 he has seen no fewer than 4,044.
David's first game was the 1960 FA Cup 1st round clash between Crystal Palace and Hitchin Town, a game that Palace won 6-2. Since then he has watched football in 14 different countries most regularly watching Bexhill Town in the Sussex County League Division 3.
He says that his most memorable game, though maybe not the most pleasing, was the 1973 England vs. Poland World Cup Qualifier. The 1-1 draw saw England fail to qualify for the finals in West Germany. On the other hand the (then) Division 4 clash between Aldershot and Tranmere at the Recreation Ground in 1982 was far and away the worst he has ever seen, with neither side registering a shot on goal.
When asked why he does it David's reply is simple, "Its because I love the game, it has changed but I like it even more now than I did when I started."
And who is his favourite player? It's "Cannonball" Cliff Holt of Crystal Palace of course! Who? Exactly!



June 2001

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