Eric Barber

Eric Barber (January 18, 1942 – August 20, 2014) was an Irish professional footballer. He spent most of his career playing for Shelbourne in the League of Ireland with whom he had three spells from 1958 to 1966, 1971–75 and 1978–80, managing them during the 1979–80 season.[1]

Eric Barber
Personal information
Date of birth (1942-01-18)January 18, 1942
Place of birth Dublin, Ireland
Date of death August 20, 2014(2014-08-20) (aged 72)
Playing position(s) Striker
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1958–1966 Shelbourne 139 (89)
1966–1967 Birmingham City 4 (1)
1967 Chicago Spurs 12 (8)
1968–1969 Kansas City Spurs 34 (20)
1969–1970 Shamrock Rovers 25 (15)
1970–1971 Wiener Sport-Club 19 (8)
1971–1975 Shelbourne 81 (37)
1979–1980 Shelbourne 2 (0)
National team
1965 Republic of Ireland 2 (0)
Teams managed
1979–80 Shelbourne F.C.
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only



During his time with Shels, Barber scored a club record 126 league goals. He was part of Shels FAI Youth Cup-winning side in 1959 and went on to win the League of Ireland championship in 1962, and the FAI Cup in 1960 and 1963, beating Cork Hibernians 2–0 on both occasions. Barber scored in every round including the final in the 1960 cup win and in the 1962 cup final defeat to Shamrock Rovers. His goal in the 1960 final was a lob from almost forty yards.

In March 1966, Barber signed for Birmingham City [2], but never became a regular. At the end of the 1966–67 season he was offered a chance to sign for Chicago Spurs in the National Professional Soccer League. After just two days in America, Barber scored twice on his debut at Oakland Clippers, and went on to finish third top scorer in the NPSL. At the end of the season the franchise moved and became Kansas City Spurs and Barber moved with them and finished second top scorer in the league that season.

Barber then moved on loan to Shamrock Rovers for the 1969-70 season as the Kansas City Spurs ran into financial difficulty and scored two goals in 2–1 win against Schalke 04 in the Cup Winners' Cup [3]. He made two appearances in Europe and went on to be the club's top goalscorer that season.

Then Barber got the offer of moving to Vienna to play for Wiener Sport-Club, but despite an impressive start with nearly a goal a game in his first eleven games, an injury and subsequent row about the treatment for it saw him eventually return to Dublin as Shels paid an IR£3,000 transfer fee for him in November 1971.[2]

He played for Shels in their FAI Cup Final defeats in 1973 and 1975, being red-carded in the replay of the 1973 decider in Flower Lodge.

Barber was Shels top league scorer at the end of ten different seasons.

At the end of the 2012 League of Ireland season Barber is twelfth in the all-time League of Ireland goalscoring list with 141 league goals [3]

National teamEdit

Barber was capped twice by the Republic of Ireland national football team during his time with Shels in a World Cup qualifier in Spain and a friendly against Belgium.


He was Rovers' assistant manager in the 1978–79 season. He managed Shels the following season.



  1. ^ "Shelbourne mourn Irish football legend Eric barber". 22 August 2014.
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-04-06. Retrieved 2016-07-06.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External linksEdit