The quintessential dependable defender, Barry Laker racked up more than a ton of Boro’ appearances at centre- and left-back while at the club. One of the magnificent seven that came in from Farnborough in 2003, Laker soon made a name for himself with us during a four-year stay at the club. The ton came up during the 2005-6 season but, by this time, he was finding game time harder to come by.
Indeed, he ended up only making 24 starts that term. But it’s important to remember that Laker’s role was very much understated. As the end of the 2005-6 campaign came over the horizon, he started making appearances on the bench in a coaching capacity. And, at the end of that season, he called time on his playing career. Some remarkable outings in a Boro’ shirt endeared himself to fans; his retirement ending a much-appreciated spell here.
Barry Laker: Before Boro’
For Laker, the career path started at Wimbledon. That’s the one that became MK Dons, if you weren’t sure. But it was tough to crack that particular nut, which meant moving down the pyramid to Banstead Athletic. The Dons’ decision to release him was, based on what the defender told the Stevenage FC History site, “because I was not nearly good enough – to be frank”.
Building his career up from the bottom, Laker would spend four years at Banstead under the guiding eye of boss Bob Mapleson. Next up was Sutton United, before Farnborough (and Graham Westley) came calling.
Barry Laker: After Boro’
Since retiring, Laker moved back into teaching.