Tributes for 'remarkable' former Weston footballer who dies aged 39
PUBLISHED: 16:23 08 January 2020 | UPDATED: 17:26 08 January 2020
Tributes have poured in for a 'fantastic and caring' former Weston Football Club player who died last week.
Chris Barker played for the Seagulls during the 2016-17 season and he was also the club's assistant manager.
Barker died aged 39 and South Wales Police confirmed the sudden death of a man who was discovered at his home address in the Cyncoed area of Cardiff at about 2pm on January 1. The death is not being treated as suspicious and the coroner has been informed.
Barker made 17 appearances for Weston during the 2016-17 season when the club was in the National League South. He was also Scott Bartlett's assistant manager during his first spell in charge at the Optima Stadium. Sheffield-born Barker also played for Cardiff City, Stoke City, Barnsley and Queens Park Rangers in the Football League.
MORE: Remembering Chris Barker.
Weston manager Scott Bartlett said: "I am truly devastated by the news that came to light during our New Year's Day game. We have lost a true and proper person with brilliant morals and strong principles.
"As well as being a fantastic and caring person, Barks had an unbelievable football career and then made a successful transition into coaching at Aldershot and Weston before becoming a strong, inspirational and much loved youth coach at Forest Green Rovers.
"Such was his dedication and loyalty to the scholars at Forest Green, I was unable to prize him away in the summer.
"I for one am very proud to have had him by my side for the last few years and have lost the very best of friends.
"On behalf of everyone at Weston, our thoughts are with his loving family and amazing daughter. We have lost a remarkable man, rest in peace, mate."
Weston played their first home game since Barker's death on Tuesday night against Hartley Wintney.
A minute's silence was held before kick off and the players wore black armbands.
Weston's current assistant manager, Scott Laird, said: "The players and staff at Weston have handled themselves impeccably.
"It's important to talk and if anyone is down there is always an ear that will listen.
"We have lost an amazing man and someone who will never be forgotten."