IF YOU are ever in need of medical assistance in the seaside town of Scarborough, a former Barnsley striker who netted some famous goals against Leeds United may come to your aid.

Darren Foreman, now 56, began his football career at Barnsley in the late 1980s and is now a paramedic in Scarborough.

“Quite a lot of people from Barnsley live in Scarborough and others come for the day,” he told the Chronicle.

“I bump into fans who recognise me or read my name and remember me.

“They like to have a chat, especially about the Leeds games.

“It was a great starter club for me. The people are fantastic and down to Earth.

“As an 18-year-old from the south, living away from my parents for the first time, it was a great place to go away to.

“The club looked after me and the supporters were second to none.

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“It wasn’t long after the miners’ strike.

“I think the fans really appreciated having a team to watch.

“I loved the fact that people spoke to you when you were walking down the street.

“That doesn’t happen in the south.

“I thought they must know me.”

Southampton-born Foreman, then a player for non-league Fareham Town, had been spotted playing for England Schoolboys under 18s by Barnsley scout Eddie Edwards.

After a successful trial, he signed in 1986 and played 56 games for the Reds – scoring eight goals.

“We were really struggling for a centre forward so I got an opportunity earlier than expected.

“It was exciting but difficult.

“We lost our first six games and were rock bottom, but made a great recovery to stay up.

“I knew I was going to make my debut the day before so my dad came up from Southampton and was in the social club from about midday.

“He started drinking John Smith’s and still drinks it now which is very unusual for a southerner.

“Rimmo (Reds legend Norman Rimmington) said it was one of the best debuts he had ever seen. For someone like him to say that was something to behold. Maybe he just said it to make me feel good. But he looked genuine, and it was fantastic to hear.

“I probably went in first team a bit too early. But Barnsley definitely played a big part in me having a career in football. I will always be grateful.

“We were at a good level in the second division. I had great team-mates like Futch (Paul Futcher), Steve Agnew, Joe Joyce. We had good banter and team spirit. That probably kept us up because we were punching above our weight a little bit.”

Foreman is best known, by Barnsley fans, for scoring twice at Elland Road in a 2-0 win in 1988 then netting the only goal in a 1-0 victory at Oakwell over Leeds the following year.

“They were great occasions.

“The first game was against Leeds when they were mid-table and in the doldrums but the home one was the team that would go up and be champions of England two seasons later.”

The majority of Foreman’s Barnsley career was under Allan Clarke, before he was moved on by Mel Machin.

“He (Clarke) was a great person to mould yourself on as a striker.

“He played in training and was still one of the best players.

“We used to play Mars Bar games, where the losers had to buy Mars Bars for the winners afterwards and he would pretty much always win. He was a great finisher with both feet.

“I probably played under better coaches who brought my game on outside the box more but, inside the box, he was a massive influence.”

Foreman went on to play for Crewe then Scarborough where he still lives and works as a paramedic – having previously owned a sports shop and been commercial manager of Scarborough FC.

“My brother-in-law at the time was a paramedic and said I would be good at it. I’ve been doing it for 22 years now.

“I am lucky that I had two careers that I enjoy. Some people go through their careers and don’t have any jobs they want to do.

“It’s a people job. It’s very demanding but I really enjoy it.

“In the summer, the population of Scarborough and the whole coast doubles and creates a lot more call-outs.”

Covid-19 put extra pressure on the health service which is now experiencing significant waiting times for ambulances outside hospitals.

“The job has definitely changed and not for the better. Covid was a massive thing for us and unfortunately I lost one of my colleagues to Covid.

“It’s getting more and more stressful.

“It’s a tough business and people who stay in it for 20 or 25 years will become less and less.

“Waiting times at all hospitals are getting longer. It’s running close to breaking point and wouldn’t take much, in respect of added pressures, to tip things over and make it so much more difficult to deliver the service we want to.”

Foreman still keeps an eye on the Reds’ fortunes.

“Barnsley’s is one of the first results I look at.

“I am a massive Southampton supporter but I also look at the Barnsley and Scarborough results.

“I was disappointed they didn’t go up last season but I have heard good things about the new manager and I hope to watch them next season.”