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Murray Barnes Print E-mail
Monday, 23 April 2012 16:03
Sunday 1 January 2012

Vale Murray Barnes

The Australian football community is today mourning the loss of Murray Barnes, a former captain of the Socceroos and winner of four national championships with Sydney City Hakoah. Barnes, 57, passed away on New Year's Eve.

Murray Barnes was the 24th  captain of the Socceroos. He played 51 times for Australia, scoring nine goals. He was appointed captain for the Socceroos campaign for the 1982 FIFA World Cup qualifiers and led the team on nine occasions in 1980 and '81.

Barnes made 225 appearances, scoring 60 goals in the NSL for his only club, Sydney City Hakoah. He played in the inaugural season of 1977 and remained a regular until 1987. He won four championships - 1977, 1980, 1981 and 1982.

Born on 16 January 1954 in Sydney, Murray Barnes played his junior football in the Ku-ring-gai district in the northern suburbs.

He joined Sydney City Hakoah and made his first senior appearance with the then NSW State League club aged 17.

He then spent a year in England at Leeds United, where he played with the Leeds youth team, and upon returning to Australia was thrust immediately into the Sydney City senior side. 

A tall, strong and aggressive player, he was predominately a midfielder but often played in attack and occasionally in defence. 

Barnes was a virtual ever-present in each of Sydney City's championship-winning seasons. Throughout this time he scored plenty of goals, and was Sydney City's second highest goalscorer in 1977 (12 goals) and 1980 (10).

At the international level he was first selected to play for an Australian side in an under 23 team tour of Indonesia in 1974. He made his senior international debut against China in 1975, when coach Tony Boggi was bringing in a new breed of Socceroos after many international retirements following the 1974 World Cup.

Later in 1975 he played five games against the touring Soviet Union team, where he managed to score in the 3-2 loss in Sydney. Throughout the ill-fated 1978 World Cup qualifiers he became more a fringe national team player after Jim Shoulder had replaced Brian Green in mid-1976.

Barnes regained his regular starting position under Rudi Gutendorf, who took charge of the Socceroos from 1979, and participated in the national team's gruelling 1980 world tour where he took part in matches against the Greece, England B, Israel and Indonesia.

Gutendorf promoted Barnes to national captain for the ultimately unsuccessful campaign for the 1982 FIFA World Cup. He finished his top flight career with Sydney City in 1987 when the club became defunct after one round of that year's national league.