Few Imps fans will be unfamiliar with Barry Richardson. They say goalkeepers are a special breed, well Barry was special within the bracket of special. He was best described as ‘a character’, perfectly at home in John beck’s madcap side of the mid-nineties. He became John Beck’s first signing as City manager, and he made his debut alongside a returning Steve Holmes in a 1-0 home defeat to Cardiff City in October 1995. He went on to play in every game for the rest of the season.
Barry was a little bonkers in the sticks, immensely popular with Imps fans. With his long hair and constant antics, he often attracted both banter and abuse from away fans. The most striking possibly being Manchester City fans in the Stacey West the night we beat them 4-1 in the Coca Cola Cup. Barry, with his long hair, had to endure chants that might no be deemed as racist, but that he revelled in. He played his part in the Club’s promotion season of 1997/98, keeping 12 clean sheets from his 26 League appearances.
Barry was never far from controversy either and he will probably be remembered for his part in the infamous battle of Moss Rose in April of 1998. Barry was sent off for his part in mass 22-man brawl along with Ben Sedgemore (who later joined the Imps). The Macclesfield mascot was also escorted from the pitch amidst violent scenes. Richardson, Jason Barnett and Lee Thorpe later received misconduct charges from the FA.
He fought for the number one shirt with John Vaughan in the late 1990s and returned from a loan spell at Mansfield to regain his number one jersey. However, the emergence of Alan Marriott eventually usurped them both and he joined then-Conference side Doncaster Rovers on a free transfer. He played 62 games for Doncaster, before winding down his career with Halifax, and Gainsborough Trinity. He later moved into coaching and returned to Doncaster in 2005/06, where he made two further senior appearances in the Football League Trophy. Curiously, ten years later at the age of 46, he made his final senior appearance for former Imps’ teammate Gareth Ainsworth at Wycombe, after Alex Lynch got injured after 15 minutes. He kept a clean sheet too.