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Ultimate Saddlers A-Z 2

Football historian Leigh Edwards profiles every Walsall player from 60 post-war League seasons.

FRED BARBER: Colourful goalkeeper who launched his long career at Darlington and was ever-present in Walsall's 1987-88 promotion success, making 153 League appearances prior to joining Peterborough United in August 1991. He later played for Colchester, Luton, Ipswich, Blackpool, Birmingham and Kidderminster. Now a goalkeeping coach.

JOHNNY BARBER: Young winger who joined Walsall from Swansea in July 1951 and provided reliable cover for Tommy Bowen and Phil Giles. Making six League appearances prior to joining Hereford United in July 1952, he later played for Burton Albion and Brush Sports. He died in Lichfield in September 2002.

DAVE BARNETT: Powerful central defender who joined Walsall from West Bromwich Albion in July 1990 and made five fourth division appearances prior to joining Kidderminster Harriers three months later. He subsequently played for Barnet, Birmingham City, Dunfermline Athletic, Port Vale and Lincoln City.


TONY BARRAS: Hard-working central defender who made a significant contribution as Walsall regained first division status at the first attempt in 2000-01. He scored nine times in 105 League games prior to joining Notts County in August 2003, since playing for Macclesfield Town and Witton Albion.

ANDREW BARROWMAN: Former Scotland Youth striker who featured in our 2005/06 relegation battle. Initially with Birmingham City, he was loaned to Crewe, Blackpool and Mansfield prior to joining Walsall in January 2006. He scored once in 13 League One outings before moving to Kilmarnock in the summer of 2006. Loaned out to Queen of the South in September 2006.

MARK BATES: Young right-back who understudied Brian Caswell whilst at Walsall. Locally born, he made his League debut in the 2-1 defeat at Orient five months before turning professional in April 1983. He played six third division games prior to joining Shrewsbury Town in July 1984, then played local soccer.

MICK BATES: Former Leeds United midfielder who featured in Walsall's 1977-78 FA Cup run and netted four goals in 85 third division outings before moving to Bradford City in June 1978, then played for Doncaster Rovers, Worksop and Bentley Colliery. Now living back in his native Armthorpe, Doncaster.

DARREN BAZELEY: Former England U-21 right-back who was an experienced figure as The Saddlers reached the FA Cup fifth round in 2002-03. He joined Walsall from Wolves in July 2002 and made 89 League appearances before joining Hyundai A-League side New Zealand Knights in January 2005.

RALPH BEAMAN: Young centre-forward who signed professional for Walsall in December 1960 and made his solitary second division appearance in place of Tommy Wilson in the 3-0 defeat at Leyton Orient in January 1962. Later playing for Nuneaton Borough and Bedworth United, he still lives in Willenhall.

DARREN BECKFORD: Former Port Vale and Norwich City striker who joined Walsall in March 1997 and made eight second division appearances before moving to Rushden & Diamonds in September 1997. He later played for Southport, TNS and Bacup Borough prior to coaching at Manchester City's Academy.

RON BEDDOW: Young right-back who made his solitary League appearance in Walsall's 3-1 defeat at Crystal Palace in October 1954. He joined Bromsgrove Rovers in July 1957, then played for Stafford Rangers and Redditch United. Later a sales rep for Skip Units, then Boughton's, he now lives in Pelsall.

KENNY BEECH: Former Port Vale midfielder who helped Walsall take Birmingham City to an FA Cup third round replay in 1982-83. He netted five goals in 79 League games before joining Peterborough United in August 1983, then played for Stafford Rangers. He has since been a production worker for Michelin.

JULIAN BENNETT: Young central defender who impressed as Walsall battled vainly to avoid relegation in 2004-05. A former scholar, he made his League debut five months before turning professional in July 2004. He scored three goals in 51 League games prior to joining Nottingham Forest in January 2006.

STAN BENNETT: Long-serving centre-half who helped take Liverpool to an FA Cup fourth round replay in 1967-68, netting 12 goals in 385 League games prior to joining Nuneaton Borough as player-boss in July 1975. Since working as a building society manager, his nephew Martyn Bennett played for West Brom.

TOM BENNETT: Ex-Wolves and Stockport midfielder who helped Walsall regain first division status at the first attempt in 2000/01, netting eight goals in 89 League games before joining Boston United in August 2002. He moved to Kidderminster Harriers in November 2004, then Hamilton Academical in July 2005 before retiring through injury.

KEITH BERTSCHIN: Former England Under-21 striker who featured in two relegation campaigns, scoring nine times in 55 League games before joining Chester in November 1990. He later played for Aldershot, Solihull, Evesham, Barry, Worcester, Hednesford, Tamworth and Stafford Rangers. He was reserve team manager at Birmingham City before joining the coaching staff at Wigan Athletic.

ERIC BETTS: Much-travelled winger who scored three times in 30 League outings for Walsall prior to joining West Ham in April 1950, then played for Nuneaton Borough, Rochdale, Crewe Alexandra, Wrexham, Oldham Athletic and Bangor City. He resided in Rochdale until his death in March 1990.

JONATHAN BEWERS: Former England Youth right-back whose solitary League appearance for Walsall was in the 1-1 draw at home to Sheffield Wednesday in September 2004. He moved to Kettering in November 2004, then played for Aylesbury United and is now studying accountancy at the University of Northampton.

FREDERIC BIANCALANI: Versatile French defender who joined newly promoted Walsall from Nancy in August 2001 and helped to consolidate first division status in 2001/02. He also featured in a midfield role, scoring twice in 18 League outings while at Bescot Stadium before returning to Nancy in July 2002.

BICA: Tall Brazilian striker who had a trial spell at Walsall during the 1999/2000 campaign. Previously at Sunderland on trial from Peruvian side Port Boys Callao, he played against The Saddlers in the Worthington Cup before joining Walsall in October 1999. He came on as a substitute in the 1-0 victory at West Bromwich Albion but soon disappeared back to South America.

JACK BICKNELL: Inside-left who joined Walsall from Retford Town in February 1954 and made his League debut in that month's 1-0 defeat at Crystal Palace. Also appearing in The Saddlers' 2-0 win at Reading and 4-2 victory at home to Leyton Orient that season, he continued to live in his native Edlington.

ALFIE BIGGS: Former Bristol Rovers goalscoring favourite who joined Walsall in March 1968 and scored nine times in 24 League outings prior to joining Swansea in November 1968, then reunited with Doug Hillard at Taunton Town. He later had various jobs in his native Bristol and now lives in Poole.

PETER BILLINGHAM: Young right-half who helped Walsall to win the fourth division title in 1959/60 and scored nine times in 99 League outings prior to joining West Brom in May 1960. He gained top-flight experience, then played for Worcester City and Lye Town. Now living in Rowley Regis in retirement.

ALAN BIRCH: Skilful winger who scored 23 goals in 171 League outings for Walsall before moving to Chesterfield in July 1979, then played for Wolves, Barnsley, Chesterfield (again), Rotherham, Scunthorpe, Stockport, Frickley, Shepshed Charterhouse and Matlock. Now licensee of the Globe Inn in Tamworth.

GARY BIRCH: Young striker who turned professional with Walsall in October 1998 and regularly featured as a substitute. Loaned to Exeter City and Barnsley, he netted seven goals in 68 League games before joining Kidderminster Harriers in December 2004. His next move took him to Lincoln City, from where he joined Tamworth on loan in August 2006 but had an injury-hit spell at The Lamb.

MARK BLAKE: Former Aston Villa and England Under-21 midfielder who joined Walsall from Leicester City in August 1996, netting five goals in 61 League outings before moving to Mansfield Town in August 1999. He joined Kidderminster Harriers in July 2001 where injury problems ended his playing career.

ERNIE BLINCOW: Outside-left who was an amateur with Hillary Street Old Boys and West Brom before his solitary League appearance in Walsall's 2-0 defeat at Brighton in March 1947, then played for Walsall Trinity. He worked for Birmingham Engravers and now, aged 85, assists Blinford Graphics in Bloxwich.

PETER BODAK: Midfielder who played in the top-flight for Coventry and Manchester City prior to joining Walsall from Happy Valley in August 1990. His solitary goal in four League games came in the 3-0 win at home to Scunthorpe two months later and he returned to Hong Kong before playing for Atherstone. Now working for the PA.

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