It’s May, 1982

In many ways it was a sad time for the football club, the end of the 1981-82 season. An already difficult season was turned almost apocalyptic for fans by the news that the bosses of the club had decided that a re-jigged Southern League (the top teams in the Midland Division and Southern Division would create a new Premier Division) was not for them, and Barry Town – the longest serving club left in the Southern League – was pulling out, sighting financial difficulties and new ground criteria required for the new Premier Division. The first team would be replacing the Reserves in the Welsh League, and that was that. There was uproar among the fanbase.

When is there not uproar among the fanbase?

Regardless, in April of the 1981-82 season the club won 6 of their remaining 9 matches, and with further points at home over Corby Town on May 1st – presumably when this photograph was taken – it ensured the 9th place finish that would have seen us placed in the new Southern League Premier Division. Destiny decreed – or at least, Neil O’Halloran – that The Linnets would be better served playing in Wales. Besides, we still had the FA Cup to play for…

As for Alan Harrington, who had previously made a name for himself as a player at Cardiff City, as well as clocking up 11 international caps for Wales, he presumably decided he didn’t like the FA Cup. At the beginning of the 1982-83 season, the club had an important FA Cup Preliminary Round match at Jenner Park against old rivals Haverfordwest County. Harrington not only failed to turn up, he failed to say why he failed to turn up and was promptly sacked.

Apparently, Harrington is now in his early 80s and residing in leafy Penarth, just outside Cardiff. I must try and track him down.

Alan Harrington and Barry officials pose for Harrington receiving his Manager of the Month Award

Town Manager, Alan Harrington, is awarded Manager of the Month for April 1982.

Alan Harrington and players

Alan Harrington is lifted into the air by his Barry Town squad as he celebrates being Southern League Manager of the Month for April 1982.

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