Former Halifax Town forward Graham Barnett dies, aged 83

Graham Barnett. Photo: Johnny Meynell
Graham Barnett. Photo: Johnny Meynell

Former Halifax Town inside forward Graham Barnett has died, aged 83.

After scoring 34 goals in 49 games for Port Vale, Barnett joined Tranmere in March 1960.

Halifax manager Harry Hooper then paid a four-figure fee for him in August 1961.

Barnett made an immediate impact, scoring the first of ten league goals for the club in the opening day 3-1 victory over Barnsley, a spectacular 35-yarder in the third minute.

He formed an effective strike partnership with Frank Large but expressed his desire to move to Australia before the season’s close.

Having made 32 League appearances for the Shaymen, Barnett was released from his contract and trained with Macclesfield Town before joining South Coast United, his fee being paid for by the supporters of the New South Wales Division One club. He spent three seasons with South Coast and earned himself an Australian cap in 1964.

In September 1965, Barnett returned to England and a return to The Shay seemed imminent, only for talks to stall when South Coast demanded a fee of £1,000. He went on to play for Macclesfield Town before he returned to Australia, becoming South Coast player-manager after stints with Hakoa and Polonia, and later took over as manager of The Corinthians.

Barnett returned once more to England in 1971, working with Port Vale’s A team before working in the commercial department and running the YTS team until 1985. He later became a newsagent.

Thanks to Johnny Meynell for his help with this article.