Barclay Chalmers

Barclay was a reserve team player, in the first season the Western League team was re-introduced in 1972/73. Barclay was from Scotland and had previously been at Stranraer. 

In 2006, Pete Martin wrote the following in a programme article.


There has been some discussion of late about how best to manage the issue of keeping players match fit when they are either not playing regular first team football or are recovering from injury.

Some advocate ad-hoc friendly matches against local sides or representative teams of the likes of Weymouth or Torquay United, etc. Indeed, some such matches have been played this season, often ‘behind closed doors’. Those games give managers and coaches an opportunity to assess players and, in turn, gives those players some competitive action rather than constant training ground regimes.

Others would prefer to see City restoring a reserve team to play in a local league – something that was a regular feature of life atb the club in years gone by. I am not certain exactly when the reserve side suffered its demise but it definitely existed in the 1960’s and 70’s.

My first visit to St. James’ Park was at the start of the 1966/67 season, having been enthralled by the ’66 World Cup campaign (and even more so by my native country winning the famous goblet). The experience affected me so seriously that, from thereon, I thirsted for “real” footy played at a “real” football ground. The affliction still affects me as strongly today as it did 40 years ago.

I was so taken by my local team that, having invested in a season ticket at (if I recall correctly) the princely sum of around £20, I was not content with watching my heroes every other week (away travel was an economic impossibility for me back then), that I began watching almost every reserve team game as well. These matches were also played at SJP and often attended by 150/200 or more hardly souls.

Playing in the “Western League”, a snapshot from November 1966 sees the reserves a smidgeon below half way in the Western League table with 13 points from 14 games. Our adversaries in those days included such illustrious names as Minehead, Andover, Bridport and Bideford (*even today’s visitors, Salisbury City, were in there with us!).
Also featuring were the reserve sides of Argyle, Torquay, and Bristol City. Even St. Luke’s College fielded a side in the Western League.

One reserve game away to Taunton Town that same season saw us draw 1-1 with a team that included not only Mike Balson, John Wingate and Keith Harvey (household names to those as long in the tooth as myself). But also lesser knowns such as Roy Clarke and ‘keeper Keith Penfold.

Back in 1971/72 I worked with a young engineer Scotsman called Barclay Chalmers who had played a bit for Stranraer and had decided to try his luck with City. I must have watched Barclay 8 or 10 times playing in the reserves that season but, sad to say, he impressed neither the management nor myself and never made his mark in a City shirt. After he moved away in 1973 I lost contact with him but have occasionally wondered whether he ever pursued his football career anywhere else.

Whether we will ever field a reserve team in any competitive league again is unknown but, I suspect, unlikely in the light of the costs involved."

He returned to Scotland and became managing director of a company called ‘Barr Construction’

“The company is best known perhaps for its stadia work which includes new facilities for Southampton, Fulham, Celtic, and Rangers Football Clubs as well as projects for lower league and rugby clubs.

Barclay sadly passed away, at his home, on Wednesday 6th March 2019 the age of 68.



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