Happy birthday to Wrexham, Wales and Everton all-time great Barry Horne.
Born in St Asaph on May 18, 1962, the much-admired midfielder, capped 59 times by his country, is 59 today.
Barry’s grassroots career involved spells with North Wales clubs Hawarden Rangers, Courtaulds and Rhyl and he also captained Liverpool University before turning professional relatively late at the age of 22 for Wrexham.
While at the Racecourse, he was responsible for one of the most memorable moments in the club’s history, a vital away goal in a 4-3 defeat against Porto in the first round of the European Cup-Winners’ Cup in October 1984.
Wrexham had won the first leg 1-0, and Horne’s 89th-minute strike, via a finish likened to the great Gerd Muller, ensured they progressed to the second round of the competition, where they lost to Roma.
Barry played in 168 games across all main competitions for the Dragons between 1984-87, scoring 23 goals.
After spells at Portsmouth, playing in 70 league matches, and Southampton, featuring in 112 games, Barry went on to have the most successful time of his club career with Everton, who paid the Saints £675,000 for his services.
A Goodison Park star between 1992-96, Horne’s most famous goal in an Everton shirt came on the final day of the 1993–94 season against Wimbledon. The Toffeemen had to win to survive relegation.
Horne’s goal, a 30-yard screamer, levelled the scores at 2-2. Graham Stuart would go on to score the winning goal to secure the Blues’ Premiership status.
It was the only goal Horne had scored in the FA Carling Premiership that season.
Soon after he won Everton’s Footballer of the Year 1995 award.
In 1995, he was in the Toffees’ starting line-up when they beat Manchester United 1-0 in the FA Cup Final. It remains the last major trophy the blue half of Merseyside have won.
Horne later played for Birmingham City, Huddersfield Town, Sheffield Wednesday, Kidderminster Harriers, Walsall and, finally, Belper Town before retiring in 2002.
He featured in excess of 700 competitive games for Premiership and Football League clubs.
Barry’s 59 caps for Wales included a stint as captain.
A former chairman of the Professional Footballers Association, in November 2011, Barry returned to professional football when on a volunteer basis he became a director at Wrexham Football Club.
It was at a time when Wrexham Supporters Trust became the first ever Supporters Trust to take over a professional football club as a going concern.
He was Director of Football at the Racecourse for almost five years, until he stepped down in October 2016.
Horne has a first-class degree in chemistry from the University of Liverpool. In 2014, he became director of football and teacher of chemistry and physics at The King’s School, Chester.
In media, he has been a regular voice on radio, as well as a TV football pundit for BBC and Sky Sports.
Happy birthday Barry – an absolute legend. It’s been a privilege to follow your career and work with you.