Weston boss leads tributes to Chris Barker
PUBLISHED: 11:30 02 January 2020 | UPDATED: 12:23 02 January 2020
Former Weston player and assistant manager Chris Barker has died at the age of 39.
The Sheffield-born defender joined the Seagulls from Hereford in October 2016 to link up with Scott Bartlett during his first spell as manager.
Barker would leave a year later, having played 15 times for the club, citing the reason for his departure was to give new manager at the time Marc McGregor a chance to recruit his own backroom staff.
Tributes have been left on Twitter with Bartlett one of the first to react to the sad news, posting: "Words can't describe how utterly devastated I am. Had prayed this news wouldn't break until the family were ready.
"RIP to my best mate and an amazing man. Thoughts are with Richie, Tracey, Demi and family. Hardest day ever. Heartbroken."
Announcer Tim Clarke also payed tribute: "To Barks, you really were a gent every time I spoke with you.
"Always a professional on the pitch too. Loved your dance moves when you came to the club and you will be missed.
"From a #Seagulls to an #angel. God bless mate. Give Joe our love. #RIPChrisBarker."
Dayle Grubb posted: "Absolutely gutted! A top man who played a massive role in helping me progress as a player and a person! R.IP Barks. Thoughts go out to you and all his family."
And Sam Hendy tweeted: "RIP Barks. Thankyou for everything you did for me on and off the pitch. Can't thank you enough. Cannot put into words how gutted I am. One of the most genuine guys I've ever met. Thoughts are with your family and friends at this awful time. Thankyou for everything."
Barker also played for Aldershot Town, where he also had a spell as player-manager, as well as Barnsley, Cardiff City, Colchester United, Queens Park Rangers, Plymouth Argyle, Southend United and Stoke City and was Forest Green Rovers' lead professional development phase coach.