Ray Barr – The Arsenal Obituary 2022

Raymond ‘Ray’ Barr 1949-1952

Ray was born on 5 June 1931 in Dromore, County, Down, Northern Ireland, who was spotted at Dromore FC, but he also played as an amateur for Linfield and represented the Northern Ireland Army Cadet Force. Barr was signed by Arsenal as an amateur on 20 June 1949, the notes after watching him a few months earlier from the Arsenal scout state he was “very promising, tackled well, two footed, worth following.”

The left back became a professional on 11 July 1949, but a recurring injury between 1949 and 1951 somewhat stymied his chances at Highbury.

His reserve debut came on 7 Mar 1951 versus Chelsea , an his final reserve game was on 23 March 1952 v Oxford City in a friendly. After 133 appearances for Arsenal’s reserve and ‘A’ teams, scoring three goals, he was given a free transfer at the end of June 1952, joining Hastings United in July 1952, following his brother Don who signed up earlier in the year.

He remained at Hastings until 1955, after which he moved to Peterborough. Barr played 36 games in Peterborough’s first team in the Midlands League during the 1955/56 and 1956/57 seasons.

Huddersfield v Peterborough v 1957 FA Cup. Ray is to the left of the player wearing 2 on his back. Denis Law is the white-shirted player in the foreground.

Retiring from professional football in June 1957, he moved to Hastings where he walked on the seaside beat as a police constable, eventually rising to the rank of superintendent. His contract with Peterborough remained for another year, and he had to obtain permission from Peterborough to play for the Hastings Police team.

Boys Own magazine feature about Ray at Arsenal (click to enlarge)

Ray Barr died on 18 March 2022 aged 90, just 15 minutes after his wife of 68 years, Pam, passed away.

Many thanks to Ray’s son, Andy, for help with his obituary.

Copies of our books Royal Arsenal – Champions of the South and Arsenal: The Complete Record 1886-2018 are still available from the publishers.