BARRY Murphy says seeing Oakwell’s North Stand with his name on it was the most emotional moment of his life – after he had already walked around the pitch without noticing it was there.
Reds legend, who played a record 569 games for the club between 1962 and 1978, is now an ambassador and matchday host at Oakwell.
The club decided to name the North Stand after him and announced it before Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Reading.
Barry told the Chronicle: “I had walked around the pitch and never thought about looking up at the stand.
“I have been married to my wife Josy for 57 years, she knew about this two months ago and she kept it to herself.
“Someone messaged me to say congratulations on Friday but Josy convinced me it was an April Fools.
“I left her at home to go to the game and the next time I saw her she was walking across the pitch with my whole family, that’s when I knew something was happening. The chief executive (Khaled El-Ahmad) and the media team were there and they explained it to me.
“I have never been an emotional in my life. It is a fantastic tribute.”
The club also launched their ‘alumni’ scheme on Saturday, which lists all 1,376 players. Barry is honoured that, out of all of them, his name was chosen for the stand.
“I feel on top of the world that they chose me.
“I came down from the north east but I feel like I have been in Barnsley all my life. Everyone knows who I am and where I am and what I am. It’s amazing and overwhelming to think that sign will be there for years to come and people who have never met me will know my name because it’s on the stand.
“When I look at all the players who have played for Barnsley, I wasn’t as good as some of them – even though I could play a bit.
“But I played a lot of games and I have been involved with the club for a long time.
“I love the club so to receive something like this is mavellous. I have never felt as good as I do this week.”
Although he was thrilled to have the stand named after him, Barry was disappointed with the draw against fourth-bottom Reading which leaves the third-bottom Reds five points from safety with seven games to play.
“It hasn’t looked good for us all season.
“We haven’t carried much luck and, recently, we have conceded a lot of goals in the last minutes.
“We only have a slight chance of staying up. We needed to win on Saturday.
“It’s heart-breaking for the players.
“They are giving it their all but I don’t think it’s good enough.
“I hope I eat those words at the end of the season but I think it is a real battle now.
“I feel for the supporters because we have a fantastic fanbase and a lot of very loyal people who follow the team across the country.
“It’s sad for them and for the whole town as well.
“It’s disappointing but life goes on.”