Barber’s Maccabi adventure

Updated: September 23, 2014

David Barber, aka ‘The Barber’, joined The FA as assistant to Sir Alf Ramsey after the Mexico World Cup in 1970 and has been its historian for the past 35 years. 

He has attended 6,705 matches at all levels and has lost none of his enthusiasm! He was once again out and about last week and added to his tally of games…  

I’m up to 45 matches this season after these five in the last week: Carshalton Athletic 3 Redhill 0, Sporting Bengal United 4 FC Romania 1, Redhill 0 Walton Casuals 1, Brady Maccabi 3 Athletic Bilbaum 4 and Regents Park Ladies 4 East London Ladies 0. 

There was a noticeably cold wind in the second half of the match in Regent’s Park on Sunday afternoon and it certainly felt like summer was finally over. 

The Barber watched his 45th match of the season

Seven months of misery to come now. I should probably buy a new anorak after having the old one towed out to sea and sunk with full military honours. 

Redhill, a team I’ve followed since the ‘60s, are struggling in the Isthmian League’s Division One South at the moment, though they’re still in The FA Cup. 

On Saturday they were at home to Walton Casuals, who had lost all nine League fixtures this season. Surely the Reds had to get some points – no, they lost 1-0 and it could’ve been a lot worse.
Now they’ll probably go and beat Tonbridge Angels, a level higher, in The Cup. 

Athletic Bilbaum and Brady Maccabi took on in the autumnal sunshine

Sunday morning in the Park was sunny and warm and there were about ten matches going on simultaneously. 

As usual I went for the one nearest to the boating lake and saw a 4-3, meaning that my last three Sunday morning matches have produced 34 goals. 

Athletic Bilbaum in green and white stripes were the victors, mainly thanks to their ‘keeper ‘Si’ who made some astonishing saves near the end to preserve their lead. 

If it had been a Premier League match, people would’ve said they were ‘world-class’. 

I went back to the hotel on the tube for coffee and shortcakes, returning to the Park for a 2pm kick-off. 

Regent’s Park Ladies – not to be confused with Regent’s Park Rangers Ladies who play in Hurlingham Park – were playing East London Ladies in a Greater London Women’s League fixture on the pitch furthest away from the boating lake. 

I had to walk miles. 

There were several people in the long grass around the touchlines but most of them were either reading a book or munching through sandwiches. A few, of course, were staring into their iPhones – but I’m sure they do that every minute of the day. 

The fixture took The Barber’s tally to 6,705

In the first 15 minutes or so it was difficult to see where a goal was coming from. 

Then Regent’s No.10 hit a low 25-yarder that whistled into the net. But nobody looked up from their book. 

The sun went in and it was decidedly chilly in the second half. 

For more from The Barber, follow him on Twitter @thebarberfan