Aldershot Town Football Club has been deeply shocked and saddened at the passing of our former Defender and Caretaker Manager, Chris Barker.
Chris was an extremely popular figure both on and off the field at the EBB Stadium, wearing his heart on his sleeve for the club between 2013 and 2016, during which time he made 89 appearances since joining the Shots on the eve of the 2013-14 season and was also Caretaker Manager for the final 15 games of the 2014-15 season.
He was also awarded consecutive Player of the Season awards during the 2013/14 and 2014/15 campaigns, along with playing a vital part in our Conference survival in 2013/14 with a 2-1 victory away to Woking FC.
“We were all very jubilant on the way home from our game with Eastleigh, when I heard the news last night and within a 1 minute call, to be told that Chris Barker is no longer in this world was truly heartbreaking.
“There were no words that could describe how I felt, Chris was a tremendous professional, who was instrumental in our National League Survival and played a pivotal role on and off the pitch.
“I first remember meeting Chris on our first day in the National League, when we met him at a service station on the way to Grimsby and we signed him on that day, where we drew.
“Another memory that sticks in my mind, was when we replayed Portsmouth in front in excess of 5,000 on TV, where in the first minute he cleared with header on our goal line.
“But what I will always remember is his work off the field, where as club captain we held the Truce Concert on our pitch, in front of full military, dignitaries and Chris led proceedings from the players on the pitch with almost a full house.
“When we terminated our agreement with Andy Scott, we decided to appoint Chris as our interim manager, I remembered calling him late at night and told him of the situation, and we wanted him to take over the manager’s job.
“I remember theses words as if they were yesterday, he said “are you bloody sure, I have never managed before?!”.
“The rest is history, he ensured our survival in the National League and then becoming assistant to Barry Smith.
“The football family have lost a true professional, sincere condolences to Chris’s family and friends, Chris above all was a proper “bloke”.
“RIP Chris” – Shahid Azeem, Chairman of Aldershot Town Football Club
We offer our deepest condolences to Chris’ family, friends and former team-mates and colleagues. He will be greatly missed by all.
Further details of a club tribute will be released in the coming days. On behalf of Chris’ family, we’d ask for them to be treated with respectful privacy at this very difficult moment in time.