As many of you are aware, last season it was my job to write up the player biographies on the opposing teams visiting Underhill, for the matchday programme.
Although I received copy from other contributors, which in a lot of cases meant just sub-editing, there was also a lot of researching involved, particularly when information was out-of-date or incorrect.
I came across a number of former Bees while producing the copy, which brought back a lot of memories and was interesting to see how (in some cases, forgotten) players were getting on. I thought I’d include all of these in a ‘where are they now?’ two-part special.
A little bit difficult to compile, particularly considering the numbers (i.e. six goal keepers and three midfielders), part one includes my XI Former Bees. Part two will be in the next couple of days and will include everyone else.
LEE HARRISON (Wycombe Wanderers)
Lee joined Wanderers in August as goalkeeping coach, but also registered as a player. The 41-year-old has over 400 appearances during his professional career which began in 1990. A fans’ favourite at Underhill, Lee reached the landmark figure of 300 appearances during his two spells with the Bees; the first (1996-2003) saw him win Player of the Season on three successive occasions). While at Newport, Lee was assistant manager before being put in caretaker charge, albeit for a single game.
Where are they now? Wycombe
ABU OGOGO (Dagenham & Redbridge)
Right-back Abu is another former Arsenal trainee, who joined The Daggers in July 2009 following his release by the North London club. Having signed his first professional contract in September 2007, Abu was unable to make any first team appearances for the Gunners, instead joining Nottingham Forest and then Barnet on loan. Abu played in the League Two play-off final in 2009/10 and continued to impress playing in League One. The 23-year-old has since proved his versatility, also playing as a central midfielder. He’s now the club captain and signed a new contract last summer.
Where are they now? Dagenham & Redbridge
MICHAEL HECTOR (Cheltenham Town)
Tall centre back Michael joins the Robins on loan from Reading. He’ll be familiar to the Underhill crowd, having made his Football League debut in November 2011 whilst on loan at Barnet. During his time with the Bees, Michael was named ‘Young Player of the Year’. At the beginning of this season the 22-year-old, who can also play in the centre of midfield, joined Shrewsbury on loan, and after being recalled by the Royals, joined Aldershot in November. He arrived to Whaddon Road for an initial month, before having the loan extended until the end of the season.
Where are they now? Returned to Reading after Cheltenham lost in play-off semis
ANTHONY CHARLES (Northampton Town)
31-year-old defender Anthony began his professional career with Crewe Alexandra, never playing a game and joining Hyde on loan for experience. After being released and signing for Non-League Hayes, he moved to Aldershot where the club won the Ryman League Premier Division title. Anthony also enjoyed promotion success with Barnet in 2004/05 and enjoyed a second spell with Aldershot two years later having previously been on loan, while with the Bees. Having made over 150 appearances for Aldershot, Anthony was awarded with the captain’s armband, but injury kept him out toward the end of the 2010/11 season and consequently he was not offered a new contract. He signed for the Cobblers in March.
Where are they now? Without a club, following release from Plymouth (the club he joined in January) in May
GRANT BASEY (Wycombe Wanderers)
Where are they now? Without a club, following release from Wycombe in May
BEN STREVENS (Dagenham & Redbridge)
Ben is in his second spell with The Daggers, having previously been at the club in 2006. He’s familiar with the Underhill slope and the Barnet faithful as it was with the Bees that Ben began his career. Scoring 45 goals in his time with the Black and Amber, he was also a member of the squad that won promotion to the Football League in 2005. The 32-year-old joined Crawley in 2006, before suffering a fractured cheekbone. In his first spell at Victoria Road, forward Ben helped the side win promotion from the Conference before moving on to Brentford. He has also enjoyed success with Wycombe, who achieved promotion to League One in 2010/11, before being relegated the following campaign. Ben rejoined The Daggers in January from League leaders Gillingham.
Where are they now? Without a club, following release from the Daggers in May
RYAN BURGE (Port Vale)
Midfielder Ryan signed a two-year deal with Vale in the summer of 2011, joining from Hyde. Prior to that he played for Jerez Industrial, the team partnered with Glenn Hoddle’s academy. Beginning his career with Birmingham, 24-year-old Ryan made a solitary appearance for Barnet, before being struck down with appendicitis. He has also played in Japan.
Where are they now? Without a club, left Port Vale in April
STUART LEWIS (Wycombe Wanderers)
Stuart initially arrived to Adams Park, on loan from Dagenham & Redbridge, but he made the move permanent in January 2011 after an impressive couple of months. The 25-year-old midfielder began his career with Spurs, but moved to Barnet in search of first team football. Limited opportunities encouraged a switch to Stevenage, before joining Gillingham. Stewart was an integral member of the squad which won promotion in the 2010/11 campaign.
Where are they now? Wycombe
SAM DEERING (Cheltenham Town)
Starting his career as a youth at both Chelsea and Charlton Athletic, Sam then linked up with the Oxford United youth set-up. He made his debut against Weymouth, having been promoted to the first team in 2008. Although Sam was sent on loan to Newport for a month, he soon became an integral part of the Us squad that won promotion to the Football League in 2009/10. He’s no stranger to the Underhill slope, having joined Barnet on loan before signing on permanent terms, spending all of last season with the Bees. The 22-year-old midfielder signed for Cheltenham last summer on a two-year contract.
Where are they now? Cheltenham
JACK MIDSON (AFC Wimbledon)
Striker Jack embarked on his football career with Stevenage Borough and spent a season with Dagenham & Redbridge before establishing himself at Bishop’s Stortford – he appeared 84 times in three seasons. Following a successful spell at Histon, Jack signed for Oxford United in May 2009 and featured regularly as Oxford gained promotion to the Football League. After spending time on loan at Southend and Barnet, the 29-year-old signed for the Dons in June 2011. He was last season’s joint top scorer in League Two with 18 goals.
Where are they now? AFC Wimbledon
JOHN O'FLYNN (Exeter City)
28-year-old striker John started out as a youngster at Peterborough before joining hometown club Cork City. In six years he racked up 68 goals in 138 appearances, winning the League of Ireland and FAI Cup; as well as becoming a fans’ favourite. From Cork he then signed for Barnet where he spent two seasons and again was amongst the goals. Injuries prevented John from playing as much as he’d have liked last season but fit again he hopes to pick up from where he left off.
Where are they now? Exeter