theyflysohigh : Steve Marsh

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BARRETT Jim Jnr 7 49_04_11 Chelsea v. WHU LCC Final 1951-52 team Group BARRETT Jim Jnr 1

Jim Barrett (1930 - 2014)

by Roger Hillier


Jim Barrett

BARRATT Jim signature BARRETT Jim Jnr 3 BARRETT Jim Jnr 4 Man City Nov 1950 Tottenham  April 1953 50_04_22 Blackburn Rovers v. WHU Jim Barrett A&BC Card Nottingham Forest Backroom staff - Ernie Gregory Backrook staff Backrook staff 02

Bill Jenkins, Ron Greenwood, Ernie Gregory, Jim Barrett and

Albert Walker

Ernie Gregory, Jim Barrett holding the FA Cup and Albert Walker

Playing against Manchester City – 11th November 1950

53_04_16 WHU v. Tottenham Hotspur 50_11_11 Manchester City v. WHU

Support photographs from the private collection of West Ham United goalkeeper Ernie Gregory, newspaper cuttings courtesy of Richard Miller


Mention should also be made of the longevity of his West Ham playing career. On his return in 1960 he also played the occasional A team game. The last of which was 18 years after signing for West Ham.


While his time as a West Ham player was in the Hammers’ Division Two days, his career had some memorable highs. These included:  


The junior member of a couple who achieved the extremely rare distinction of a father and son playing in the same West Ham United side, passed away on Monday October 20, 2014.  


Jim Barrett junior was the son of "Big Jim" Barrett who enjoyed a long and distinguished Hammers career. Jim junior was christened James Guy Barrett and signed for West Ham United in February 1949, graduated to the first team and after six seasons transferred to Nottingham Forest in December 1954.  


Later he joined Birmingham City before returning to the Hammers in a coaching capacity in 1960. As an inside forward he clocked a total of 91 competitive first team claret and blue games scoring 26 goals.  

Born: West Ham, London November 5, 1930.  Jim died October 20, 2014 aged 83.

A member of the first West Ham team in the club’s history to play under the Upton Park floodlights, and he made his mark by scoring the first ever winning goal under the club’s lights.


In December 1954 he had the distinction of joining the select group of Hammers to have scored on their final West Ham league appearance


Winning an Essex Professional Cup winner’s medal in May 1951



Winning a London Challenge Cup winner’s medal in December 1952


A member of the club’s coaching staff who guided the under 18s to their 1963 FA Youth Cup triumph.

Crossed Hammer Crossed Hammer Crossed Hammer Crossed Hammer Crossed Hammer

First Team Debut in April 1950

He made his first football league appearances at the end of 1949-50 season when he appeared in the final three Division Two games.  His debut was at Ewood Park in a 2-0 defeat to Blackburn Rovers  on Saturday April 22, 1950. The best result in his first three league games was the 2-2 draw in his home debut against The Owls. 1949-50 was a poor season for the club as it narrowly avoided relegation to the third tier when finishing 19th.  


The team for Jim’s league debut against Blackburn Rovers was:

Ernie Gregory, Jack Yeomanson, Steve Forde, Derek Parker, Dick Walker, Tommy Moroney, Eric Parsons, Jim Barrett,  Bill Robinson, Gerry Gazzard, Terry Woodgate.

Earlier London FA Challenge Cup Appearance

Though it could be said his first team debut was a season earlier in the drawn final of the London FA Challenge Cup (LCC) against Chelsea held at White Hart Lane on April 11, 1949. In the 1940s and 1950s the club treated the LCC as very close to a first XI competition, similar to how the Football League Cup is treated by clubs today.


The team for the drawn 1948-49 final was:


George Taylor, Jack Yeomanson, Ernie Devlin, Derek Parker, Dick Walker, Frank O’Farrell, Jim Barrett, Eddie Chapman, Almer Hall, George Dick, Don Wade.

1950-51 – His First Football League Goal

In his second season Barrett was starting to become an established first teamer as he played in 22 of the season’s Division Two fixtures contributing four goals.

Jim’s first net was away at Chesterfield on October 28, 1950 in a 2-1 victory in front of 11,207. Terry Woodgate scored the other.

In this same season Barrett also made his only two FA Cup appearances for West Ham. His FA Cup baptism saw him score a goal in the 3rd round 2-1 win over Cardiff City on January 6, 1951.  

1951 Essex Professional Cup Win

A cup winner's medal! Albeit in the Essex Professional Cup as the Hammers won this now defunct cup. A memorable evening at the end of the 1950-51 season would have been the Hammers’ cup final victory over Southend United at Upton Park on May 7, 1951.

6,000 saw goals from Bill Robinson and Tommy Moroney put paid to The Shrimpers.


The victorious XI:

George Taylor, Ernie Devlin, Steve Forde, Tommy Moroney, Malcolm Allison, Frank O’Farrell, Harry Hooper, Jim Barrett, Bill Robinson, Gerry Gazzard, Terry Woodgate.


In the following season the Hammers again reached the final only to lose 3-1 to Colchester United. Jim scoring the solitary reply.

1951-52 / 1952-53  - Second highest West Ham goal scorer

WHU v. Southend Essex Pro Cup Final

Barrett maintained a regular first team presence contributing nine league goals in each of the two seasons.

This made him second highest scorer behind Bert Hawkins’ 15 in 1951-52 and Fred Kearns’ 10 in the following season.

On a couple of occasions he narrowly missed out on a hat-trick when scoring doubles against Blackburn Rovers (August 28, 1951) and Leicester City (September 15, 1952).

December 1952

Second London Challenge Cup Final & a Cup Final Goal!

A second taste of glory only this time in the London Challenge Cup when he was in the team which beat Brentford 2-1 in the Stamford Bridge final on December 8, 1952.  

Jim had the satisfaction of scoring one of the goals.  Malcolm Allison scored the other.  

Brentford v. WHU LFA Final at Chelsea

The cup winners were:


George Taylor, Ernie Devlin, Noel Cantwell, Tommy Moroney, Malcolm Allison, Frank O’Farrell, Tommy Southren, Jim Barrett, Fred Kearns, Jimmy Andrews, Ken Tucker.

Upton Park’s First Floodlight Game – April 1953

1953-54 / 1954-55 – Prestige Friendly

Competition for the inside-right position from Dave Sexton limited Barrett’s first team appearances to just nine with a single goal in 1953-54 and two appearances in the following term.  


In early 1954 Barrett played in three of the friendlies Ted Fenton arranged against overseas clubs. On April 6 the team trounced the Swiss side, Servette, 5-1 with Jim contributing one of the goals. He also tasted foreign play against St.Mirren (3-1, March 22) and the Brazilian side, Olaria (0-0, April 27).

Two Hat-Tricks in London FA Challenge Cup

Prior to leaving the club in December 1954 Barrett had a busy two months. In addition to the three league games and the Milan friendly, he also played in several of the London Challenge Cup games leading up to the final versus Arsenal on December 6, 1954.  

In the earlier rounds, against Leyton Orient (October 19) and Fulham (November 1), he scored hat-tricks in the 4-2 and 9-1 respective victories. A prolific six goals in his four LCC games that campaign.  

Arsenal won the final replay which was played after Jim had left the club.  In all Jim made nine LCC appearances netting seven goals.

Transfer to Nottingham Forest

Very soon after the Swansea game, and before the end of December 1954 Barrett transferred to Nottingham Forest for £5,900.


His scoring rate during his five year stay with Forest was far higher. In his 105 league games he found his scoring boots to net an impressive 64 goals.


No doubt disappointed to miss Nottingham Forest’s 1959 FA Cup win, he left the club in October to cross the Midlands to Birmingham City.


After a further 10 league games and four goals he hung up his first team boots.

BARRETT Jim Jnr 5 BARRETT Jim taking a training session

First Claret and Blue Appearance

WHU v. Portsmouth Reserves report

Jim first played for West Ham as an amateur, and made his first Reserve Team appearance against Portsmouth in a Football Combination Cup game at Upton Park on 15th January 1949, before signing professional forms in the following month.

49_01_15 WHU v. Portsmouth FCC Reserves

The line-up for Barrett's first  competive match:



McGowan J.








McGowan D.


Barrett played little schoolboy football, and like so many youngsters around this period his natural football progression was interrupted by the war years. However, he won honours with Pitsea United (Thurrock Combination League and Cup winners) and then later with Romford F.C.

Crossed Hammer

Friendly Goals – 1950-51

The end of April and beginning of May was a busy time for Barrett as he played in three friendlies and scored in all three games. It started with a 3-3 draw against neighbours Leyton Orient (April 23), followed by a fleeting visit to the West Country to play a Penzance & District XI (May 1) and win comfortably 6-0, and finally a home 3-2 victory this time against the Belgian side, Royal Standard Club Liegeois (May 12).

A highlight in the Hammers’ history in the early 1950s was the staging of the club’s inaugural floodlit game on Thursday April 16, 1953.  Second tier West Ham faced first tier Tottenham Hotspur in a friendly to mark the auspicious occasion.  West Ham won 2-1 thanks to first half goals from Tommy Dixon and Barrett. The first West Ham goals under floodlights.

West Ham’s team that evening was:

Ernie Gregory, George Wright, Harry Kinsell, Derek Parker, Malcolm Allison, Doug Bing, Tommy Southren, Jim Barrett, Tommy Dixon, Jimmy Andrews, Harry Hooper.

Coaching Career & Metropolitan League Appearances

In 1960 Jim rejoined the Hammers in a coaching capacity initially supporting the youth team.  In addition to his coaching role he also played for the A team in a handful of Metropolitan League matches.

His final competitive Metropolitan League appearance was in season 1966-67 on Saturday February 18, 1967 when as a 36 year old he came on as substitute. This was at Chadwell Heath against Chatham Town when he came on for an injured Tony Carr after 20 minutes.


His last ever appearance was traced back to a friendly fixture at Chadfields, home of Tilbury FC March 1, 1967. So 18 years after signing for the Hammers he was still donning a claret & blue shirt.      

As first team chances reduced, Jim was soon to transfer to Nottingham Forest. But before he left there was time for another notable evening under the Upton Park floodlights.  Jim was in the West Ham team which faced the mighty Italians, AC Milan, on December 14, 1954. Though that evening the Hammers were taught a few footballing lessons in a 6-0 defeat, they were privileged to be facing one of Europe’s best sides.

Jim’s final league game was the 3-3 draw with Swansea Town (now City) on the Saturday after the AC Milan defeat. He joined a handful of Hammers to have waved goodbye with a goal in their final league game.  


The team for his final Division Two match was:

George Taylor, John Bond, Harry Kinsell, Andy Malcolm, Ken Brown, Malcolm Allison, Harry Hooper, Jim Barrett, Tommy Dixon, John Dick, Malcolm Musgrove.

Crossed Hammer

After gaining his coaching spurs he moved on to a similar role with Millwall and in 1968 joined Queens Park Rangers as assistant to manager, Les Allen.  

theyflysohigh would like to pass on our condolences to Jim's wife Kit and the Barrett family and friends, as well as his former team-mates at this sad time.


                                                                     Roger Hillier and Steve Marsh

Programme image courtesy of Nigel Turner

BARRETT Jim portrait





Date of Birth:




Previous Club:




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Hammers Goals:

West Ham, London




November 5, 1930








February 1949




85  League

2    FA Cup

4    Essex Professional Cup



24   League

1     FA Cup

1     Essex Professional Cup

Tributes John Cushley Jimmy Neighbour