Geoffrey Arthur “Geoff” Barker came through the Hull Schoolboys system in the early 1960s and signed apprentice terms with Hull City in 1964. He signed professional terms in March 1967 but had to wait two years for his first team debut under manager Cliff Britton. After starting the last six games of the 1968/69 season he kept his first team place for the first four months of the 1969/70 season. He scored his first City goal in October 1969, a 3-1 win over Oxford United. When Britton left City in November 1969 and the Directors took over the day to day running of the team, Barker was selected for five games but dropped out of contention by Christmas. When Terry Neill took over the reins at Boothferry Park in August 1970 Barker was not in the club’s first team plans and he played in only one match during a 1970/71, as makeshift winger in a 1-5 thumping at Cardiff in which Geoff scored the consolation goal. By early December 1970 Barker had moved to Southend United on loan, where he started 25 league games, and left the Tigers in the 1971 close season.
Barker signed for Darlington in July 1971 and over the next four season he started over 150 games. Darlo drifted around the lower reaches of the Fourth Division in Geoff’s four seasons at Feethams so when he switched to divisional rivals Reading in February 1975 he moved up the table. Reading won promotion from the Fourth Division in 1975/76 season, propelled by the goalscoring exploits of legendary forward Robin Friday – Barker shared centre back duties with Steve Hetzke, making 30 league appearances. In 1976/77 Reading were relegated back to the Fourth Division but Barker started only six games and left for Grimsby Town in the 1977 close season. In two seasons at Blundell Park Barker started 66 games before leaving the club in 1979 and spending the last two years of his playing days as player-manager at Bridlington Trinity and Grantham Town.
Barker spent further seasons in football management at Bridlington Trinity (again), Barton Town and North Ferriby United. He was also a stalwart for the Ex-Tigers XI during the 1980s.
In 2019, fifty years after Barker’s City debut, his grandson Matty Jacob signed his first professional contract with Hull City. Another defender, Matty broke into City’s first team squad during the latter months of 2020.
Date/Place of Birth: 7 February 1949, Hull
Hull City First Game: 5 April 1969, Millwall H (Division Two), 20 years, 57 days old
Hull City Final Game: 31 October 1970, Cardiff City A (Division Two), 21 years, 266 days old
Hull City (1967-1971), Southend United (1970-1971, loan), Darlington (1971-1975), Reading (1975-1977), Grimsby Town (1977-1979), Bridlington Trinity (1979-1980), Grantham Town (1980-1981)
Hull City Record
Career: 32 apps, 2 goalsGeoff Barker
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