Beds, Herts & Bucks

John Barnes 1980s Watford fan pictures recreated

John Barnes night Image copyright Paul Vincent Stone Creative Design
Image caption The idea came from a picture sent to Tales From the Vic by Steve and Pete Van Dyk of the brothers as young boys with John Barnes

Photographs of ex-footballer John Barnes posing with fans in the 1980s have been recreated 30 years later.

Watford fans posed with ex-England winger Barnes, who played for the Hornets between 1981 and 1987, at event held in front of an audience of 600.

The organisers had asked the audience at the Watford Palace Theatre to send in pictures in advance of the night.

"[John] really enjoyed it and made it a special moment for the fans," show presenter Adam Leventhal said.

"The reception for arguably the most gifted player to have ever played at Vicarage Road was superb throughout and was capped by a standing ovation at the end."

Image copyright Paul Vincent Stone Creative Design
Image caption Barry Mason pulled the same expression on the night as he had done 30 years before

The event was organised by the publishers of the Tales from the Vicarage series of books about the Hornets and those who played for them.

Mr Leventhal said the idea came from a picture sent in by fans Steve and Peter Van Dyk of the brothers as youngsters with John Barnes.

"We knew that they were coming to the event... and we decided it would be great to recreate the picture on stage on the night," he said.

Image copyright Paul Vincent Stone Creative Design
Image caption Nick Davidson's 1980s picture shows him with a startled expression because he had severe hay fever and was battling to keep his eyes open
Image copyright Paul Vincent Stone Creative Design
Image caption The pictures, including this one of Adam Slater, were recreated in front of 600 fans at the Watford Palace Theatre
Image copyright Paul Vincent Stone Creative Design
Image caption Brian Connor was one of the fans who answered the call from organisers for the audience to send in pictures in advance of the event
Image copyright Paul Vincent Stone Creative Design
Image caption John Barnes was pictured in a variety of retro tracksuits, like this one with Matt Rowson
Image copyright Paul Vincent Stone Creative Design
Image caption Both Barnes and the fans - like Tracey Gibbon - tried to recreate the exact pose
Image copyright Paul Vincent Stone Creative Design
Image caption All the fans in the photographs were invited back on stage for the finale where John Barnes performed his rap from New Order's World in Motion

John Barnes

Image copyright Getty Images
  • Played for Watford between 1981 and 1987, scoring 65 goals in 233 League appearances
  • Was part of the Hornets team that got promoted to the First Division in 1982 and finished second to Liverpool
  • Signed for Liverpool in June 1987 for £900,000, scoring 108 goals in 407 games
  • Honours at Liverpool: League Championship 1987/88, 1989/90; FA Cup 1989; League Cup 1995
  • International caps: 79 England caps from 1983-1995
  • Since 1999 he has managed Celtic, the Jamaican national team and Tranmere Rovers
  • He performed a rap on New Order's UK number one single World in Motion which celebrated England's participation in the 1990 Fifa World Cup

Source: Liverpool FC / IMDB / Watford FC

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