A decorated England international who has played for several of the Premier League’s top sides, joins a newly promoted League 1 club – it seems like a total fantasy, but one that came true when locally born attacker Nick Barmby ended a fraught spell at Leeds United to join the Tigers in June 2004. For the next eight years Barmby gave exemplary service to his home town club as a player, coach and manager. In his first season he was central to City’s elevation to the Championship, contributing goals and assists in a near-ever-present season. Nick’s importance to the Tigers continued in the second tier but niggling injuries meant that he was a less regular presence in the first team, often featuring from the bench and turning around matches with his skill and aggression. In May 2008 Barmby, who had barely played in the regular season, was an important figure in City’s passage through the Championship play-off semi finals, scoring in both legs against Watford. He then played a vital role in City’s win at Wembley against Bristol City, which lifted City into the Premier League for the first time. Nick continued his impact substitute role during City’s two years in the top flight, and stuck around when City returned to the Championship. When manager Nigel Pearson left City late in 2011 it was Nick Barmby, who had been involved in coaching the first team for several months, that owner Assem Allam turned to as player manager. Nicky’s City were founded on sound defensive principles and attacked with flair, and the Tigers soon lurked on the edge of the play-offs. Alas a springtime streak of games without a win scuppered talk of relegation and in May 2012 Allam abruptly sacked Barmby for a trumped-up insubordination charge. This proved to be a tragic end to Nick’s involvement in the professional game for many years, and an early blot on the now comprehensively ink-stained copybook of the Allams’ tenure at Hull City.
Barmby was spotted as a youngster by Tottenham Hotspur scouts and was one of the club’s standout young players of the 1990s. His first appearance in the Tottenham first team was against the Tigers in a testamonial match honouring Garreth Roberts – the 16 year old tyro scored twice. Nicky made his league debut for Spurs two years later as an 18 year old, and immediately found himself starting regularly for Terry Venables’ side. He played in two FA Cup semi finals for Tottenham but by 1995, at the age of 21, Barmby was lured north to Middlesbrough as Tottenham trousered a £5.25m fee for a player that had just made his England senior debut. After one impressive season at the Riverside, Middlesbrough cashed in on Barmby and sold him to Everton for a small profit. Nicky’s four years at Everton saw him mature as a top flight player and an international, and in 2000 Liverpool parted with £6m to take him across Stanley Park. In his first season at Anfield Nick contributed to three trophy wins – the FA Cup, League Cup and UEFA Cup. But in his second season injuries restricted his appearances considerably and in 2002 he moved on to Leeds. Injuries continued to dog Barmby at Leeds and after two years he was desptached to Hull City, although Leeds continued to pay a share of Barmby’s wages for several seasons in order to honour the long term contract that Leeds awarded him.
After seven years out of game, Barmby joined Scunthorpe United in March 2019, assisting his former team-mate Andy Dawson with coaching duties. The Dawson/Barmby axis was not capable of ensuring Scunthorpe avoided relegation and Nicky left the Iron two months later.
Barmby made a handful of England Under-21 appearances at the age of 20 but was almost immediately elevated to the senior squad, for whom he made his debut against Uruguay in March 1995. Over the next six years Barmby won 21 England caps and scored four goals, being selected for the finals squad for Euro 1996 and Euro 2000. Nicky started for England in the famous 5-1 drubbing of Germany, and made his last appearance in the tumultuous 2-2 draw against Greece at Sunderland which led to England nervily qualifying for the 2002 World Cup Finals.
Date/Place of Birth: 11 February 1974, Hull
Hull City First Game: 7 August 2004, Bournemouth H (League One), 30 years, 178 days old
Hull City Final Game: 1 October 2011, Cardiff City H (Championship), 37 years, 232 days old
Tottenham Hotspur (1990-1995), Middlesbrough (1995-1996), Everton (1996-2000), Liverpool (2000-2002), Leeds United (2002-2004), Nottingham Forest (2004, loan), Hull City (2004-2012)
Hull City Record
Career: 197 apps, 32 goalsNick Barmby
|2004/05||38 (1)||9||2 (0)||0||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|2006/07||7 (13)||4||-||-||1 (1)||1||-||-||-||-|
|2007/08||5 (10)||1||1 (0)||0||-||-||-||-||3 (0)||2|
|2008/09||13 (8)||1||2 (1)||1||1 (0)||0||-||-||-||-|
|2009/10||6 (14)||0||-||-||2 (0)||0||-||-||-||-|
|2010/11||8 (23)||5||0 (1)||2||0 (1)||0||-||-||-||-|
|2011/12||0 (8)||1||-||-||0 (1)||0||-||-||-||-|