Brian Stein proved to be an inspired addition to the Boro’ squad for the 1993-4 Diadora League Premier Division title run-in; the former Barnet and Luton Town forward coming in with experience and – more importantly – goals. In fact, Stein bagged 13 goals in just 16 starts and two sub outings while here. Paul Fairclough clearly knew what he was doing with this deal. And you can argue that it made all the difference as we eventually pulled clear of Enfield to seal the title with just a few games to spare.
Brian Stein: Before Boro’
In the season before signing for Boro’, Stein had been on the books at Barnet. It was at the Bees that he ended his career in the professional sense; helping them to promotion from Division Three when the club had faced the prospect of going pop midway through the 1992-3 campaign. Of course, Boro’ weren’t professional back then. So, you can now see how he ended up with us after such a successful season at Underhill.
It all started for the Cape Town-born forward, however, with neighbours Edgware Town. That’s Barnet’s neighbours, not ours. In 1977, his big break came with a move to Harry Haslam’s Luton Town. It was David Pleat who scouted him – and Pleat who would take over from Haslam at the Hatters soon enough. In this first spell at Kenilworth Road, he scored 130 goals in more than 400 outings; making him a firm favourite with the fans.
At the end of the 1982-3 season, Luton Town needed to beat Manchester City(!) away to stay in the top flight. Despite coming back from a long-term injury, Stein played a big part as the Hatters grabbed a late goal – and made David Pleat do a silly dance at the end of the match. If that doesn’t sound like a highlight of his time with Luton, how about his two goals that helped them win the 1987-8 League Cup final at Wembley?
In 1988, the time came for Stein to move on; released from his contract with the Hatters. The next step on the career path took him across the channel to play for Caen, followed by Annecy. But there was something drawing him back to Luton. We can’t even begin to wonder what draws anyone back there. Even so, he rejoined for the 1991-2 campaign – albeit an unsuccessful one; Luton relegated after 10 years in the top flight.