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Barry Nicklin

Barry was brought up in Fenton, and lived in the North Staffs area  all his life. I first met him at Longton High, where his love of rugby came from the sports masters  such as the legendary Arnold Copeland, Bill Jolley , Tom  Spencer, and Rob Bailey. How fortunate we were to have such a commited group.

Barry was a county schools  2nd row at 15, a very big lad , and went on to play for Old Longtonians, once he left school. I was honoured to play in the boiler house with him both at school and for the club. He was an outstanding forward on his day, strong, powerful and for a big man quite quick, but his main attribute was his wonderful hands. He really should have been centre but in his playing days we did not have  6ft 4 inch, 130 kilo centres, but that did not deter Barry, never the fittest,  he was often found lining up with the backs after dealing with his infamous exploding bootlaces. In these days of rolling subs he would have been in his element giving his all for 30 mins a game.

Fitness was an issue throughout his playing career, he could have played at a much higher level, but  Barry was happy to play in the seconds and thirds, where once on the rampage  he was hard to stop.

It was his work for the club that was outstanding, Barry delighted at our new home in Roughcote, being a regular at our work parties , but it was his work behind the bar and as Bar treasurer  that was very professional, the accounts were exemplary and thanks to Barry and Alan Lockett  the beer well kept!

In the 70’s the club had  annual outings  to the Middlesex 7,s  and when  the coach arrived in Fenton there was no mistaking Barry, sitting on his crates of Newcastle Brown and holding his rucksack full of pork pies and a multitude of of fine cheeses. Those of us who wanted to have some cash left after any club coach trip were wise enough to let Barry fleece the unsuspecting at cards!

Barry  worked   for the council rates department  , and after his marriage to Rosemary  a  nursing sister who I believe  he met whilst in hospital, they  moved to Hartshill and  he was a keen member of the local pub quiz teams .  Barry took his role  very seriously as step father to Peter, and I believe he achieved his ambition of playing in the same team as Peter for Longton.

Sadly Barry died far too early and did not live to see the opening of our new facilities at Trentham fields