Where Are They Now?

Wednesday 16 January 2008

It’s not always the easiest of matters transferring between fierce local rivals, but a number of players have successfully made the transition between the White and the Blue over the years. Fulham centre-half John Dempsey went on to achieve great things with Chelsea in the 70s, and coming the other way, the likes of current Assistant Manager Ray Lewington, Clive Walker, Teddy Maybank, and more recently, Bjarne Goldbaek, have all done well at the Cottage.

But right up there amongst the best must surely be former captain, Barry Lloyd, who became a true Fulham stalwart after making the short move across the borough in the late 60s.

A hard-working, skilful midfielder, who scored some cracking long distance goals, Lloyd originally joined Chelsea as a schoolboy. “I’d signed with Arsenal first,” he remembers. “And I went over to Highbury once a week for training. But North London was a real trek for me because I was a West London boy. Fortunately Chelsea started showing some interest.

“I remember opening the door one day, and Tommy Docherty and Dave Sexton were standing there, so in the end I joined them. I enjoyed my time there enormously. Dave Sexton was Reserve coach and then First Team Manager and there was a wealth of experience amongst the other coaching staff. It was a great upbringing.

“The move to Fulham came out of the blue and I had to think about it because I’d enjoyed it so much at Chelsea, whilst Fulham were having a bit of a tough time, they’d been relegated the year before and were struggling again that season. It was a gamble from my point of view, but the chance to stay in London was too good to turn down. I’d been to watch Fulham play many times when I was younger, so it was a big thrill to join them.”

Lloyd moved on to Hereford after Fulham, but the lifestyle change clearly wasn’t one that suited. “I thought I’d enjoy living out in the country, but I didn’t!” He laughs. “I bought a house there and I only lived in it for about a month! So I came back to London and joined Brentford. That was my final season in the Football League, and we did well, getting promotion from the old Fourth Division.”

From Brentford it was on to the States and the Houston Hurricanes in the NASL, and then back to England as manager of Yeovil Town in the Southern League. “Coaching was always something I wanted to do,” he says. “Dave Sexton picked up on it very quickly, and I took my first coaching badge when I was 17. I was coaching the kids in the evening at Chelsea at the age of 18.”

The next stop was Worthing, whom he took from the Isthmian League Second Division right through to runners-up in the Premier Division, and then on to Brighton with Alan Mullery.

“Alan was in his second spell there,” says Lloyd. “And I joined as Youth Team Coach. Alan left during that first season and they asked me to take over. It wasn’t much fun to begin with to be honest, but I ended up staying there for seven years!”

Lloyd left Brighton in 1993, but after doing bits and pieces with various other clubs for a while, he’s now rejoined the Seagulls as Chief Scout. “I’m delighted to be back,” he says. “My remit is to improve the squad, and we’ll cover anywhere in the world looking for talent to do that.”

He looks back fondly on his time at Fulham. “It didn’t take us long to turn things around after relegation,” he says. “We spent one season in the Old Third Division and then came back. It was a very good side and played very attractive football. Fulham have always been renowned for that over the years.”

Lloyd had a remarkable appearance record in his time at the Cottage, appearing to hardly ever miss a game. “I once played over 100 consecutive matches,” he says. “I was very, very fortunate. I had one knee injury in ‘73 which kept me out for two or three months - I got done up at Burnley and had to be carried off, but that was my only serious injury. I’ve had loads since! As you get older the body reminds you what you did when you were younger and you pay for it. I’m not injury-free now I can tell you!

“I remember talking to George Cohen about it 12 months ago. He was getting out of a car, and I said, “You all right George?” He said, “These knees don’t belong to me!” Lovely!

“But Fulham was a super place to work, and for me, being a West London lad, to play for Fulham, Chelsea and Brentford was fabulous. That whole thing with both Fulham and Chelsea being taken over by the property developers was a disaster, so it’s nice to see both clubs thriving again. It gives us hope for Brighton.”

Barry Lloyd Statistics

1969-1976; 290 appearances, 30 goals

Born: Hillingdon, 19.02.49

Debut: 01.02.69 v Carlisle (h) 0-2

Last Match: 24.04.76 v Blackburn (h) 1-1

Signed from: Chelsea, January 1969 (£35,000)

Transferred to: Hereford, October 1976