BARRY Harwood, one of Western Australia’s – and Australia’s – most decorated referees, has responded to the Football Hall of Fame WA’s request for memorabilia by donating a treasured collection of seven boxes, which includes a FIFA Blazer.
Barry, who was born in England and originally came to Perth in 1966, is leaving WA this month to live in Japan.
Hall of Fame Committee secretary Penny TannerHoath accepted Barry’s magnificent contribution on behalf of the Hall of Fame – and also on behalf of the WA football public who put great store in the preservation of the history of the game in this State.
It is hoped to display Barry’s collection – and that of many other influential figures of the sport in WA – in a Football Museum in the not-too-distant future.
The Committee of the Football Hall of Fame WA, which became a not-for-profit incorporated organisation towards the end of 2019, will soon launch a new body which, it is hoped, will attract funding from government and private organisations.
“We are setting up this entity to assist in establishing a Football Museum for the code in this State,” said Hall of Fame Committee chairman Louis Prospero.
Prospero said that several individuals and significant organisations have already indicated their desire to help finance the setting up of a Football Museum.
“I want to say a big thank you to Barry for donating his collection of memorabilia to the Hall of Fame,” said Prospero, a former NSL referee himself.
“Barry has a lot of history in WA and I will be sorry to see him go. I had the privilege of working with him on the field.”
Barry Harwood’s collection includes the many trophies and awards he received in his distinguished refereeing career in WA – and also a much-valued FIFA blazer, considered the ultimate award for a whistler.
He started refereeing soon after arriving in Perth over 50 years ago and quickly made an impact. Within a few years he was the man in the middle in important international contests involving the State team.
Barry was the whistler when WA hosted South Australia in 1968 and when Greece visited Perth in 1969. He was also the first WA referee to officiate in the National Soccer League.
He was elevated to FIFA’s list in 1972 and by 1974 he was a familiar figure in representative games, taking charge when Aberdeen and Chelsea came to Perth to take on WA. He later also was the man in the middle when Rangers and Manchester United visited in 1975, and when Sunderland and Tottenham came the year after. He also refereed the WA v Northern Ireland contest in 1980.
In 1975 he was awarded the Best Referee honour when officiating at the Marah Halim Cup tournament in Indonesia. And he was given the same award in the Marah Halim event in 1976. He was the referee at full international level when Australia played Israel in Melbourne in 1977 and when the Socceroos took on Czechoslovakia, again in Melbourne, in 1980.
When the FIFA World Youth Championship was played in Australia in 1981, Barry outshone some of the world’s best whistlers when he showed them a clean pair of heels in the Fitness Test. He was declared FIFA’s Fittest Referee when he covered 3,400m in the 12 minute run.
Tony Boskovich was Australia’s designated main referee in the 1981 event, but Barry had the honour of being a linesman in two key games – Italy v South Korea, and Italy v Brazil.
When Australia celebrated the Bi-Centennial Gold Cup tournament in Adelaide in 1988, Barry refereed the opening game between Argentina and Saudi Arabia, and he was the linesman when the Socceroos played Brazil.
His final major game was the D’Orsogna Cup final in 1991, when he also won the Golden Whistle award, a fitting tribute before his retirement.
He was appropriately inducted into the Hall of Recognition at the Football Hall of Fame WA’s initial ceremony in 1996.
PIC ONE: Barry and Penny Tanner-Hoath. PIC TWO: Barry’s FIFA Blazer. PIC THREE: The trophy Barry received for refereeing WA v Northern Ireland. PIC FOUR: Memorabilia Wanted Advert.