Barry Horne: Grassroots to National icon
Barry Horne, an iconic figure amongst Wales football fans. An ex-Everton, Wrexham and Wales national team captain, the midfielder renown for his superb tackling, it all started in the Welsh Leagues.
Before joining Wrexham FC in 1984, Horne played for North Wales outfit, Rhyl FC. The former Lilywhite also had stints at Flint United and Hawarden Rangers; all Welsh grassroots football teams.
Horne would go onto have a bright career, playing for the Welsh side, Wrexham, and later Everton.
Horne’s arguably most successful period came during his time at Goodison. One of his most memorable moments for Everton was a 30 yard screamer against Wimbledon in the 1993/94 season levelling the scores at 2-2. Everton would go onto win the match, a fixture in which they needed 3 points to remain in top flight English football. At Goodison, Horne most notably won the FA Cup with his side, Everton, in 1995 and won their player of the season that same year.
In more recent times Horne was appointed chief director at Wrexham and also appears as a football pundit on numerous shows. However, perhaps his crowning moment was on the pitch for his national side, Wales, as he was made captained for one appearance.
Although his time in the Welsh leagues was brief, it is rather interesting that such an iconic Welsh player started in the Welsh Leagues; a league far often snubbed and over looked nowadays. Barry Horne’s is an example of why grassroots football is important for the future of Welsh football, and if supported can be a vital tool for the national team.
Horne went from playing as a youth in the League of Wales for Rhyl FC to captaining the Welsh national team, all be it for one appearance. He is an example that talent can come from the grassroots of Welsh football, that the Welsh league if supported well could provide Wales with future stars such as Barry Horne.