THE first entrants into Barnstaple Town’s Hall of Fame have been announced.
To celebrate reaching the landmark of 2,500 Western League games, fans were asked to come up with their greatest Barum team.
Club historian John Clarke said: “After hours of thought and deliberation as to the best way of assembling a team under the heading Hall of Fame, it was decided rather than leave the decision to a panel (we would) just select the players who most appeared in the supporters’ selections – and there were many.”
Tony Clark (goalkeeper, 1965-69): Slightly built for a keeper but had lightning reflexes and safe handling.
Clark joined Barnstaple from the Exeter area and made 144 appearances before he was signed by Yeovil Town where he clocked up 379 appearances.
Royce Godbeer (defender, 1949-57): The “find of the season” was how the press described the 25-year-old after he joined from Heavitree United.
In his first season, he played in all Barnstaple’s Western League fixtures and went on to make 304 first-team appearances before budget cuts led to him and three others joining Minehead.
Ian Pope (defender, 1965-67, 1971-82): An accomplished full-back who would fit in to the modern game with ease.
Former Republic of Ireland international Noel Peyton, the Town manager, converted Pope from a winger to defender. After a spell with Bideford, he returned to Mill Road to make more than 500 appearances, averaging 46 games a season.
Aaron Harper-Penman (defender, 2003-09, 2013-present): Came through the youth ranks and made his first-team debut at the age of 16 years and three months in an FA Cup tie against Exmouth Town.
After playing for Bideford in the Southern League, he returned to Barnstaple for the 2013-14 campaign and was appointed captain.
Charlie Hulland (winger, 1955-63): There was no better sight than the South Molton builder racing down the wing with the ball at his feet.
During his eight years at Barnstaple he made 234 appearances and scored 67 goals – none more special than the one which put Southern League Trowbridge Town out of the FA Cup in 1959 and gave Barum a first-round trip to Exeter City.
Pat Fewings (midfielder, 1952-53, 1963-67): Signed for Torquay United after impressing against them in a pre-season friendly but returned for a brief spell at Barnstaple before going to the United States with his two brothers and joining a club in Los Angeles.
Back home, Fewings, a strong tackler who made the game look simple, signed for Bideford and was then persuaded to rejoin Town by manager Cameron Buchanan.
Nicky Brooks (midfielder, 1985-90): Joined Western League outfit Torrington from the North Devon League before following manager Dave Baglow to Barnstaple.
A dynamo of a wing-half, Brooks had endless energy. Work took him to the Bristol area and he ended his playing days with Mangotsfield United.
Dave Blanche (midfielder, 1979-81, 1983-86): The Welshman settled in North Devon after a career in the Armed Forces and was a regular squad member as Barnstaple won the championship in his first full season.
A great passer, his distribution had a touch of class, and always weighed in with a dozen or so goals each season.
Laurence Thomas (winger, 1967-78): He experienced his best time at Barnstaple in the mid-1970s under the guidance of manager Brian Perks.
A speedy winger, who was tricky and had great balance, he was not known for his goalscoring but reached double figures during those heady days.
Graeme Somerville (striker, 1968-78): A tailor-made strike partner for Roy Clarke, he was voted player of the season by the supporters in 1973-74 after topping the Western League goal charts with 48.
He was subsequently selected for a Rothmans Soccer Tour of Zambia but it was cancelled for political reasons.
Roy Clarke (striker, 1967-79): Signed as an accomplished defender but was converted by manager Charlie Sells.
In 1975-76, he scored 29 league and cup goals and, like Somerville, was awarded a testimonial season for his services to the club.
The manager: Arthur Coles (1949-1955): The most successful and popular of all Barnstaple’s managers.
His record as player-boss is unlikely to be surpassed at the club and included Western League First and Second Division titles, twice reaching the FA Cup first round and becoming the first non-League side to win the Devon Pro Cup.