Raymond Barnard (1933-2017)
Born in Middlesbrough, Raymond Scholey Barnard signed professional terms for his hometown club in 1950, making 118 appearances at right-back, 113 in the league and five in the FA Cup.
On his debut, aged just 18, he was given the unenviable task of marking Sunderland legend Len Shackleton, a gifted player known and respected as The Clown Prince of Football. Such was Barnard’s performance, Shackleton congratulated him after the game.
The former England Schoolboy International worked his way through the ranks of his local club.
Barnard moved to Lincoln City, then in the second division (Championship) in 1960 where he made another 47 appearances at the heart of the defence, before joining Grantham.
His debut for the Gingerbreads came at Alfreton Town, the first game of what would ultimately become Grantham’s 1963/64 Midland League Championship winning season under player-manager Jimmy Raynor.
Ray missed only two of that season’s matches and even managed to grab a goal in the entertaining 5-5 draw against Goole Town in October.
The following year he was once again a near ever present member of The Gingerbreads side that finished runners-up in the league, but by the end of the 1965/66 season Ray had made only another seven appearances, with his other goal for the club coming in the October game at home to Stamford.
His final league appearance was in the March 1966 fixture against Alfreton Town although he also played in Cyril Brown’s Testimonial against Rotherham at the end of the season.
Ray continued to play after the Summer break, signing up for the Lincoln Claytons side.