December 9 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Former Norwich City winger Mark Barham remembers John Bond as the manager who gave him his first team debut as a 17-year-old.
"The first time he played me in a five-a-side in training he told me ‘I’m letting you play this one but if you don’t go out and get your haircut you won’t be playing another one’."
Barham, who first played for City in 1979 and won two caps for England, said: “John Bond always believed that if you were good enough you were old enough. That’s why people like Justin Fashanu, Kevin Reeves, Peter Mendham, Steve Goble and me all played as teenagers.
“Football has lost a gentleman. I had nothing but admiration for him. What he didn’t know about football could be written on the back of a postage stamp. I thought he was a brilliant manager and a fantastic coach.
“He loved wingers but you had to adhere to certain rules. You had to play wide with your foot on the line, it was your responsibility to score goals, get crosses in and defend at the same time.”
Barham said he was unsure as a teenager whether he would make the grade at Norwich, but he had been in City’s first team squad about a year by the time Bond left.
Barham said: “He was my first manager, he gave me my debut at 17 and I went on to play for England so he must have done something right.
“He was flamboyant, but he believed in dressing nicely and he wanted you clean-shaven and looking smart.
“When I first came up from Folkestone I had what you might call long hair. The first time he played me in a five-a-side in training he told me ‘I’m letting you play this one but if you don’t go out and get your haircut you won’t be playing another one’.
“He sent us to college to learn to eat properly, to use the right cutlery if we went to a restaurant and things like that.”