They think it’s all over - it is now for Harrogate Town's popular match commentator Barry Parker

At times he almost acted as the team’s 12th man but Harrogate Town will have to prosper in future without  its much-loved match day commentator Barry Parker after he took the decision to hang up his microphone.

By Graham Chalmers
Monday, 9th May 2022, 6:04 pm
Updated Monday, 9th May 2022, 6:15 pm

The well-known BBC Radio York broadcaster first took on the role at Town in 2015 and has been there every step of the way as the club rose through the divisions, not only providing the station’s full-match coverage of Harrogate Town but also featuring on the club’s live matchday internet stream.

Now, after 40 years in radio, Barry has opted to retire from both jobs.

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Match commentator Barry Parker with Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver. (Picture courtesy of Harrogate Town AFC)

Harrogate Town’s manager Simon Weaver paid tribute to both Barry’s expertise in the role, his passionate approach to reporting and his not completely disguised support for the club.

“Throughout the seasons Barry has been absolutely magnificent for this football club,” said the Town boss.

“I really do appreciate him, as do all the players and the faithful, especially when they weren’t able to travel during the pandemic.

“His commentary has been absolutely brilliant - and sometimes totally bias in our favour!”

Such has been Barry’s standing with home supporters, his final appearance microphone in hand in the stand at Wetherby Road during Saturday’s match against Sutton Utd saw him receive, perhaps, the ultimate accolade when Town fans chanted his name at half-time as if he was one of the players.

Barry said it wasn’t heading for the bench in terms of commentating after all these years but he was thankful for everyone’s support.

“When I came out of college in 1979 I had no idea what I was going to do.

“I’ve had 40 wonderful years doing a job that I loved and being paid for it - I’ve been so lucky. If I’ve done the job well, it gets appreciated not by one or two people but by thousands, which is very heart-warming.”

BBC Radio York’s Executive Producer Anna Evans also paid tribute to Barry.

“It’s rare to find someone so passionate about sport and radio. Following his final commentary game, we received so many messages from listeners sharing memories and wishing him well.”