Scarborough FC legend Jeff Barmby passes away

Just seven weeks after the passing of ex-Scarborough FC manager Colin Appleton, legendary Boro striker Jeff Barmby has died, aged 78, after a short illness.

Sunday, 18th July 2021, 6:14 pm
Updated Sunday, 18th July 2021, 6:18 pm
Jeff Barmby celebrates at Boro's 1977 homecoming victory parade after the FA Trophy win at Wembley.

Born in Hull on 15 January 1943, Jeff was a talented schoolboy footballer, as a pacy and skilful striker, representing Hull Schoolboys and after leaving school at 15, he played for the junior sides at Hull City, progressing into the reserve team.

He was offered a professional contract with the Tigers, but his dad persuaded him to learn a trade, and he became an apprentice electrician.

His first senior football was with Selby Town in the Yorkshire League, before signing amateur forms for Fourth Division York City in 1963.

Jeff made two first team appearances for the Minstermen, including a game against Oxford United when he was marked by future Manchester United manager Ron Atkinson, and he also had a brief trial with Bournemouth, but quit after just four days because he was homesick on the South Coast.

Jeff, who lived in Hull all his life, had a brief spell at Bridlington Town, then joined Goole Town where he quickly became a prolific goalscorer in both the Midland and the Northern Premier Leagues before Colin Appleton brought him to Scarborough in February 1970 on a wage of £5 per week, whilst he built up a successful business as an electrical contractor.

He scored a hat trick in only his second game for Boro and soon became a massive favourite with the Athletic Ground regulars.

His direct running and mazy dribbles were exciting to watch, and he was voted Boro Player of the Year in 1971.

In all Jeff played 362 competitive first team games for Boro (58 as substitute), and scored 156 goals, setting up many more for his team mates.

He also scored 17 goals in friendlies and 24 for the reserve team in a truly glittering eight year spell that included four FA Trophy Finals at Wembley.

He was a great entertainer who always played with a smile on his face, and earned the nickname ‘Bionic Barmby’ from the adoring supporters. He finally left Boro in May 1978 to rejoin his old club Goole Town, and later had a spell with North Ferriby, where he helped out with coaching the young players.

He was a life member of both Scarborough FC and Scarborough Athletic FC.

Jeff married his wife Pat on 1 December 1972 and they had two children, son Nick who became a top First Division player and won 23 full international caps for England, and daughter Debbie.

As well as his work as an electrician, which included the role of match day electrician at Hull City’s KC Stadium.

Jeff and Pat also ran a newsagents for several years, and they enjoyed many happy holidays in Lanzarote.

Jeff helped raise thousands of pounds for charity with the Hull City ex-players team in his role as chairman of the Ex Tigers Association, and he regularly worked out at the gym prior to falling ill in May.

Daughter Debbie said, “We are heartbroken that dad is no longer with us, but we have memories to last a lifetime. He was my hero and was the kindest, most caring person I have ever met.

"He idolised my sons Ben and Matthew and was a great role model for them.

"We are left with a huge hole in our lives, but have been overwhelmed by the many messages of love and affection for dad.”