Sam Barkas


 sam barkas card

Born in South Shields on 29/12/1909 he had 4 brothers who played League football, and it was on the recommendation of one of them that he travelled south to Yorkshire to sign for Bradford City at the age of 17 where he played more than 200 games before his £5,000 transfer to Manchester City in April 1934. He made his debut at Anfield on 2/05/34 and during his 13 year career at City he captained the side to the League Championship in 1937 and the 2nd Division title 10 years later. In between he won 5 England caps and captained his country.
An attack minded left back, he was more than capable of playing up front and he played at inside left for both club and country.
Sam spent the war with the RAF, and after his demob, at the age of 38, he captained City’s promotion team of 1946-47. He then left Maine Road on a free transfer to manage non-league Workington and later Wigan.
10 years later he returned to City as a part-time scout.

sam barkas

TO the best of his knowledge, Sam Barkas had no silver spoon in his mouth when he was born. Instead, they put a ball at his feet the first day they touched the ground. And nobody, least of all England and Manchester City, regretted it.
Barkas was one of a prolific and talented footballing family-four of his brothers reached Football League status-and after moving from the North East, he joined Bradford City in 1928. And because they were short of staff, he played in nearly every position. Years later, when he made his first appearance for England it was at inside forward and Barkas recalls ruefully that England that day suffered their only defeat against Belgium.
He joined Manchester City in 1934 a few days before the F.A. Challenge Cup final for which, of course, he was not eligible, and from then on he developed into one of the finest attacking left backs of all time. A car crash in which Eric Brook also was involved, curtailed his international appearances-and so too perhaps did a radio commentator who could not understand why Barkas spent so much time in attack-but he led England successfully in the late 1930s. Against Czechoslovakia at Tottenham in 1938 he switched Stanley Matthews from the right wing to inside right, and Matthews obliged with three of England’s five goals.
But Barkas’s special affection was Manchester City whom he took to the top of the First Division, into the Second, and back again to the First after the war during which he served with distinction in West Africa. The grand old Duke of York had nothing on Sam Barkas! In 1947 he moved to Workington Town as player manager but a knee injury ended his great career.

sam barkas

Sam passed away on 10th December 1989 at the age of 79


10 thoughts on “Sam Barkas

  1. Are there any of Sam Barkas family still alive, here in Manchester, I understand from my father, aged 86, that we are related, distantly but related.

    • Lots of us. none in Manchester as far as I’m aware, mainly in the north east. Sam was my great uncle



      • Hello again and thank you so much for replying, I’ve only just seen your reply and would love to know more, from what I understand from my father, Sam was my grandmother’s cousin, I maybe wrong – her name was Lillian Barkas and married John Milne from a village called Newmill up near Keith. They had 5 children, 1 died very young,as sadly they did back then. Maybe when you have a moment you could email at or call me on
        07920 405090.
        Look forward to hearing from you.
        Many thanks

  2. Hello again,
    I’m not sure my last post went through but it was to thank you so much for replying. I’m not sure if my relationship but I’m thinking he was my grandmothers cousin, she was called Lilian Barkes and I’m not sure where or when it changed from Barkas to Barkes but both my brother & myself have Barkes as our middle name. My grandfather who Lilian married was called John Milne and they lived in a tiny northern hamlet called Newmill, just outside Keith…. I’d love to learn more, especially as my father is now 86 and we are looking to take a final trip up to Scotland for him to see his old pals and see relatives that are still alive and was hoping that you’d make contact to help put in some final pieces of the jigsaw and family tree.
    My mobile is 07920 405090 and email address (work one easier) is
    I really hope to hear from you.
    Many thanks and take care
    Ellie xx

  3. Hi my mother’s maiden name was Barkas she was brought up in Tyne Dock her dad my grandad was Joe Barkas ,Ned, Sam & believe Ted were his brothers, he worked in the coal mine in Tyne Dock & I met him a few times when I was a kid.The coal dust killed him in the end but I have fond memories of going down he’s allotment in Tyne Dock when I was about 9-10.

    • Oh WOW….hello and thank you for replying – I’ve just googled Sam Barkas again and seen your message and trying to work out how (as we must, very distantly, be related) where on the family tree we fit in? Sam Barca’s was my father’s second cousin and my grandmother’s maiden name was Barkes/Barkas, I understand the spelling got changed somewhere along the line.
      My father was Nelson Fredrick Milne, his parents were Lillian and John Milne, my grandfather was Scottish but my grandmother was from the North East. My father was one of 4, Jack, himself Sidney and Velma in that order and lives and grew up in a hamlet called Newmill near Keith on the outskirts near Elgin.
      My father sadly now suffers quite badly from vascular dementia but I’m going to speak to my mother, his wife and see if she can shed anymore light as to how and where we are related…. I’m thinking my great grandparents if Sam was my father’s second cousin?
      Would love to learn more as I have cousins in the North East and my Uncle Jack, now sadly passed and his wife, my Auntie Isabelle moved back there after originally moving to Cheshire from Scotland after leaving the RAF.

      My email address is

      Many thanks again for replying, take care and keep safe.

  4. Oh WOW and a HELLO!! I was just googling after the recent passings of Jack Charlton and Alex Dawson and thought I’d google Sam Barkas again and citytilidie, I’ve just seen your message, thank you so much for replying – Sadly my father Nelson Fredrick Milne (yes, Fredrick spelt incorrectly, my grandfather John Milne got it wrong when he registered the birth!) has vascular dementia but I’m hoping my mother, his wife, might be able to shed a little more light on everything. My father was one of 4 children of Lillian (Barkes/Barkas) and John Milne.
    Sam Barkas was my father’s second cousin so…very distantly, we must be related? My father’s siblings were Jack, Velma and Sidney Milne – they lived and grew up in Newmill, Keith in Scotland until they dispersed throughout the country, we are in Cheshire, Sidney who has sadly passed was in Oxford, Jack, also sadly passed came to Cheshire but moved back to the north east where one of my cousins lives, Velma moved back to Scotland after her husband passed to be nearer her children. Would love to know more and wondering how the family tree works? Your mother, my grandmother and their parents and grandparents

    My email is

    Many thanks, take care and keep safe,
    07393 625220

  5. Mark Barkas and Robert Lindsey, please may I ask your age, I’m 51, my Dad,
    Nelson Milne will be 90 on the 24th Nov.
    Sam Barkas was his 2nd cousin, meaning the 2 of them shared the same grandparents and I’m wondering then if Joe Barkas was my Dad’s Mum’s Dad? Her maiden name was Lillian Barkes before marrying John Milne who was Sciottish) I’m guessing she was born between 1900-1910 as my Dad was born in 1930. – I don’t have their names but I’m searching through the attic for any documents or family history, I’m sure Dad did a search some years ago but his dementia is really bad now so he can’t really help me sadly.
    Would love to find out more if you have anything that could help further.
    Thank you
    07393 625220

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