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John Barnes MBE

John Barnes MBE

Since retiring from football, the Jamaican-born former footballer has become a manager and commentator on ESPN and SuperSports.

There has been a no finer sight in football than John Barnes in his pomp gliding down the wing.

For talent and grace alone, he’s an automatic choice in any hall of fame; but his impact on the game went far beyond goals and silver.

The Jamaican-born dribbler was the first high-profile black player to grace Anfield back in the 1980s, a time when racial abuse echoed around stadia across the land.

Barnes, alongside contemporaries such as Lawrie Cunningham, Cyril Regis and Viv Anderson, was a catalyst for change.

He didn’t so much break down racial barriers as sweep around them at pace with the ball at his feet; always poised, always enthralling. The intense scrutiny which followed his £900,000 move from Watford in June 1987 didn’t put Barnes off his stride as he set about winning over the locals.

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