On Sunday, January 16, 2005, English football great - John Barnes spoke and entertained a large crowd in the Bali Hilton's Ballroom, sharing anecdotes and insights into a career spanning two of the most memorable decades of English football history.
Born in Jamaica in 1963, Barnes was discovered playing football in a London park and later signed to play for Waterford FC in 1981. One of the early black players who managed to rise to international football fame, he is perhaps best remembered for managing to beat 5 Brazilian defenders with a brilliant goal scored for England at Rio's Maracana Stadium on June 10, 1984.
He went on to play for 10 years for Liverpool FC who signed him for 900,000 GBP in 1987. A year later, he was named Footballer of the Year by the Sports Writers' Associationof England.
John Barnes' Bali appearance was as the Guest of Honor at a dinner hosted by Bali Hilton International, Indo Sports and Paradise Properties to raise fund for Aceh's tsunami victims.
Relaxed after a lavish three-course dinner served up with copious quantities of wine, Barnes was introduced to the audience by former Liverpool player and now Bali resident, Kenny Latham. Barnes shared highlights of his long football career, spicing his comments with amusing anecdotes involving well known players and managers. He also provided interesting insight into how the lives of players had changed since his days, mainly as a result of media attention.
After his speech a number of items of soccer memorabilia were auctioned off, including one of John Barnes' England caps.
John Barnes now works as a football analyst on television in the U.K..
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