Richie Barker’s top 5 moments for Rotherham

Former striker Richie Barker has returned to the club after becoming Paul Warne’s assistant.

The 41-year-old, who had two spells as a player with the Millers, has left his role at Charlton to join the backroom staff at New York Stadium.

Here’s a look at his best moments in a red and white shirt.

Scoring the winning goal at Hillsborough

Barker wrote himself into Millers folklore with one of the most famous goals in the club’s history, scoring a last-minute winner at Sheffield Wednesday. In the first season in Division One under Ronnie Moore’s men were embroiled in a relegation battle when they made the journey to Hillsborough and looked all set for a point after Alan Lee’s header was cancelled out by a Shefki Kuqi goal. But Barker, who climbed off the bench, had other ideas and he rose highest to Nick Daws’ free-kick, sending a looping header over Kevin Pressman and sparking scenes of delirium. And what made it even better was his family – Wednesday season ticket holders – were watching in the Kop.

Producing some FA Cup magic

Eye-catching headers were nothing new for Barker, of course, after his heroics in the FA Cup a month before his Hillsborough exploits. In another one of the iconic games in Moore’s first spell in charge, Premier League Southampton were cut down to size at Millmoor in a 2-1 loss. It was Barker’s moment of brilliance that put them ahead six minutes before the break. A free-kick from the left was swung in by John Mullin and Barker, who had peeled off at the far post, connected with a flying header in front of a packed Tivoli. Mullin doubled the lead after the break before Marian Pahars’ 70th-minute penalty made for a nervy last 20 minutes.

 

Millmoor brace against Stoke

Things were rarely as good for Rotherham or Barker as they were when they thumped Stoke 4-0 in October 2002. Sitting in ninth position in Division One, the Millers put big-spending Stoke to the sword at Millmoor and Barker was chief destroyer. In for the dropped Darren Byfield, the striker repaid Moore’s faith by heading in the opener after just 15 minutes. Alan Lee had made it 2-0 by the time Barker notched his second eight minutes after the restart, converting from the edge of the area. It earned him an extended run in the team and the goals began to flow from there.

Boxing Day spectacular at Preston

Rotherham were hot property away from home when they travelled to Preston on Boxing Day 2002. The Millers had just racked up back-to-back wins at Ipswich and Burnley (6-2) and Barker led the festive line at Deepdale with Mark Robins. And both men contributed to a 2-0 win for Moore’s men, but it was Barker who stole the show. Robins’ effort had put the Millers ahead and then his strike partner made the game safe with a spectacular overhead effort in the final five minutes.

Back with a bang

It had been almost four years since Barker had pulled on a red and white shirt by the time he made his second debut in October 2008. The club, now managed by his former team-mate Robins, had changed immeasurably since his 2004 exit and were still in the negative following their 17-point penalty when Grimsby visited Don Valley. His homecoming came after a loan move from Hartlepool and he ensured he came back with a bang, by getting on the scoresheet late on as a substitute to cap off a 4-1 win. He could only play on for three more months, though, as a knee injury forced him into retirement.

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