Singleton, Bernard (Barney)
A mainstay for much of the immediate post-war period, goalkeeper Barney Singleton played for Exeter City between 1946 and 1954. He joined the club from Wolves and later played for Yeovil Town. Starting his professional career with Wolverhampton Wanderers, a quirk of his time with the Grecians came against Aldershot in December 1950 when he scored a goal in open play after suffering an injury and being forced to spend the rest of the game in an outfield position.Working as a miner he commenced his playing career as an amateur with Lincoln City having previously played for Wath Wanderers. He signed professional forms with Wolverhampton Wanderers in May 1941,but the War years put paid to any league outings for the keeper, nicknamed, ‘Barney.’ During the War Singleton served with the Royal Navy.
He signed for Exeter in January 1946 and was to remain at St James’ Park until the end of the 1953-54 season. He made his debut for the Grecians at Bristol Rovers in a Third Division South Cup (Southern Section tie) in January 1946. Sharing the goalkeeping spot with Bert Hoyle, his best season was 1950-51 when he featured in 42 games and even scored a goal! Having injured his back, he moved to the wing for the rest of the game and netted in the 2-4 defeat at Aldershot on Christmas Day 1950. He was placed on the transfer list at his own request in October 1951.
On leaving Exeter, he signed for Yeovil Town in the summer of 1954 before moving on to Bridgwater Town and Minehead. He subsequently became a scout for Exeter ahead of making various emergency appearances for the reserves. Later becoming reserve team trainer, he moved on to become coach to Ottery St Mary and, from September 1969, manager of the Devon County FA youth team in September 1969.
Barney Singleton died in Exeter in December 1981 aged 57 having just been appointed to take charge of the recently-opened White Ensign Club in South Street.