Barry Francis Fry (born 7 April 1945) is an English former football player and manager. A winger, Fry was an apprentice at Manchester United in his youth, and had brief spells with Bolton Wanderers, Luton Town and Leyton Orient, before he retired prematurely due to injury.
Fry at Upton Park, May 2011
|Full name||Barry Francis Fry|
|Date of birth||7 April 1945|
|Place of birth||Bedford, England|
|Playing position||Inside forward|
Director of Football
|1967–1968||Gravesend & Northfleet||?||(?)|
|1973–1974||St Albans City||23||(1)|
|2006||Peterborough United (joint caretaker)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
In 1974, Dunstable Town received the financial backing of Keith Cheesman. He hired a young Barry Fry as manager, and gave him money to build up a strong team; indeed in his autobiography, Fry claims that he was often given blank, signed cheques. Of note, both Jeff Astle and George Best were brought in to play for the team with Best playing two pre-season games to promote interest in the club. Dunstable were promoted under Fry, but he was later dismissed by Cheeseman's successor, Billy Kitt, after a poor performance in the Southern League.
After spells at Hillingdon Borough and hometown club Bedford Town, in 1979 Fry became Barnet manager for the first of two management spells covering almost thirteen seasons. In his first spell, Barnet maintained a mid-table position in the Alliance League for six seasons before Fry left in December 1985 to manage Maidstone United. He returned to Barnet in August 1986 for a further seven seasons. Three times runners-up in the GM Vauxhall Conference, Fry achieved his first managerial success as Champions in 1990–91. Two years later he guided them towards the new Division Two (leaving two months before the end of the season to manage Southend United) despite being sacked eight times and reinstated each time by controversial chairman Stan Flashman, as well as being in charge of a club which was in a precarious financial state and under threat of expulsion from the Football League.
Fry moved to Southend United in 1993 with the club bottom of Division One. Fry kept Southend up, but later in the year moved to Birmingham City. Though Birmingham were relegated in his first season, he won the Division Two championship and the Football League Trophy in 1994–95. During the 1995–96 season, Fry guided the Blues to the semi-finals of the League Cup but was sacked after their mid-season promotion hopes faded and the club finished 15th in Division One.
Just after leaving Birmingham, Fry became chairman-manager of Peterborough United. They were relegated to Division Three in his first season at the helm but they regained their Division Two status three years later. Fry's nine-year reign as manager came to an end in May 2005 after they were relegated again, after which time he took up a role as director of football. Fry remained as chairman until September 2006 when Darragh MacAnthony succeeded him.
Fry in popular culture
Fry starred in a documentary called There's Only One Barry Fry. The programme included some of Fry's dressing room antics, including a row with Mick Bodley and his promise to get the Posh out of Division Two.
In December 2018, Fry was charged by the Football Association for alleged misconduct in relation to betting after claims that he placed bets on matches or competitions during the 2017–18 season, in breach of FA rules. He accepted the charges, and on 31 January 2019 he was suspended from all footballing activity for four months, with three months of those suspended for a two-year period.
|Barnet||1 August 1986||31 March 1993||94||45||19||30||47.87|
|Southend United||1 April 1993||10 December 1993||30||15||6||9||50.00|
|Birmingham City||10 December 1993||7 May 1996||143||57||43||43||39.86|
|Peterborough United||1 August 1996||31 May 2005||483||163||133||187||33.75|
- Note: These figures include only those matches in Soccerbase's database.
- Football Conference: 1990–91
- Football Conference runner-up: 1986–87, 1987–88, 1989–90
- Conference League Cup: 1988–89
- "Barry Fry: 'I've had the sack everywhere I've been, but you expect that'". www.independent.co.uk. 29 May 2011. Retrieved 2 January 2012.
- "Barry backs the Blues". www.TheFA.com. 11 February 2011. Archived from the original on 3 February 2013. Retrieved 2 January 2012.
- "Director of football role for Fry". BBC Sport. 5 May 2005. Retrieved 26 April 2008.
- Baker, Andrew (1 June 1997). "Curse of the Fry-off-the-wall documentary". The Independent. Independent Print. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
- "Barry Fry: Peterborough United's director of football charged over betting". BBC Sport. 12 December 2018. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
- "Barry Fry: Peterborough director of football fined and suspended for betting". BBC Sport. 31 January 2019. Retrieved 2 February 2019.
- "Barry Fry's managerial career". Soccerbase. Racing Post. Retrieved 22 March 2009.