Barry Fry is one of the most colourful characters in English football. Currently at Peterborough, his journeyman career has taken him to Old Trafford, where as a player he was one of the original Busby Babes, through to football management at Barnet, Southend and Birmingham, among other clubs.
Wherever he goes, ‘Bazza’ has a knack of making the headlines. His days as a youth apprentice for Manchester United saw plenty of action on the pitch as he came under the tutelage of Matt Busby – but even more off it as the temptations of the dog tracks, the racecourses and the local nightclubs proved too great to resist.
Unloaded to Bolton, he quickly gained the reputation of ‘the has-been that never was’. Playing stints at Luton, Bedford and Stevenage failed to inspire a reckless Fry, and it wasn’t long before injury forced him to hang up his boots. His first managerial role was at Dunstable, where Fry recalls with sharp humour how the chairman, once jailed for embezzlement, had suitcases full of currency in his office with hitmen protecting his prized possessions.
He followed this with spells at Maidstone and Barnet – where he joined forces with the notorious Stan Flashman and proved his pedigree by gaining the club promotion into the League – and Southend, where he was responsible for bringing on a young Stan Collymore. It wasn’t long before he was poached by Birmingham under owner and ex-pornographer David Sullevan and his glamorous sidekick, Karren Brady – about whom stories in the book will ‘blow people’s minds’.
Among others who feature in Barry Fry’s all-encompassing career in the game are George Graham, Bobby Charlton, Tommy Docherty, Ron Atkinson and Alex Ferguson.
Whether it’s tax evasion, fraud, transfer bribes or chicanery in the dressing room, Barry Fry has experienced it all as a player, manager and now club owner. He is ready to tell everything in his autobiography – ‘Enough to make your eyes water’.
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Barry Fry is one of the most engaging and entertaining characters in English football. Everyone has an opinion on the current manager of Peterborough United. 'Bazza's like a hyperactive Sunday market trader – he should come with a health warning' according to one football pundit; while a former club colleague described him as ‘a born winner who knows the game inside out’.
It is this insider’s view of the game that makes 'Big Fry' so compelling. As a youth apprentice for Manchester United, Fry was a hugely promising footballer with a taste for the good life off the field. As a result, he came dangerously close to careering off the rails, despite warnings from boss Matt Busby about the perils of excessive drink, gambling and women.
After spells with a number of division clubs, injury forced him to hang up his boots. His first managerial role was at non-league Dunstable, where Fry recalls with typically barbed sense of humour the time his chairman, once jailed for embezzlement, had suitcases full of foreign currency in his office with hit-men protecting his booty.
In fact, Fry's life story could be the subject of a gangland movie, with remarkable tales of clandestine meetings and chicanery behind closed doors, such as his spells with Barnet where he joined forces with the notorious ticket tout, Stan Flashman. Fry describes how he was forced out in acrimonious circumstances and became boss at Southend, where he was responsible for bringing on a young Stan Collymore.
Less than a year later he was poached by Birmingham under owner and ex-pornographer David Sullivan and glamorous sidekick, Karren Brady, about whom Fry revels in some marvellous stories concerning their love-hate relationship.
You could never accuse Fry of taking the easy option. Wrestling with debt and forever battling against club chairmen, having twice suffered form heart attacks, and remembered for his extraordinary love of the game and transfer wheeling and dealing. The Posh manager is a tabloid writer's dream…and makes Alex Ferguson's job look like a salsa on the beach.About the Author:
Phil Rostron is a freelance sportswriter whose career includes over 20 years working at the Express and the Daily Star. His other books include autobiographies of Willy Carson and Henry Cecil.
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Book Description Willow, 2000. Hardcover. Book Condition: Brand New. 256 pages. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # zk0002189488
Book Description HarperCollins UK, 2000. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. illustrated edition. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0002189488
Book Description HarperCollins UK, 2000. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0002189488