It's with deep sadness that Barnsley Football Club today learned of the passing of former Reds defender, Eric Brookes who would have been 76 next month.
Mapplewell-born Eric was a product of the fabled Barnsley Boys setup and was signed by the Reds back in 1959 and would soon go on to make his first team debut as a 16-year-old, becoming the youngest player at the time to ever pull on the Barnsley shirt.
He played 35 times in his first campaign, showing maturity beyond his years and played a pivotal role in the club's run to the sixth round of the FA Cup.
There were plenty of comings and goings at Oakwell over the next eight years, but the left-back slot was never up for discussion, such was the quality of Brookes. He would go on to make 377 appearances, a real stalwart of the 1960's, playing alongside the likes of Barry Murphy, Eric Winstanley and Pat Howard in a formidable defence.
He managed just the one goal, however. That came during the 1963/64 season in a 3-0 win over Wrexham.
Brookes was sold to Northampton Town in July of 1969, for a fee of £8,000 and nearly a decade of service to his hometown club came to an end. He would also go on to play for Peterborough United before retiring after injury and becoming player/manager with non-league outfit March Town.
Our thoughts are with the family, friends, colleagues and loved-ones of Eric Brookes at this sad time.
Once A Red, Always A Red.