Paul Vanes writes:
BARRY ‘NAT’ WHITLOCK born 9 September 1945 died Thursday 25 July 2013
Barry was born in Althorpe Street to Freda and George Whitlock, their third child and younger brother to Ivor and Wendy. He went to school at Shrubland Road Infant and Juniors then on to Campion School for Boys in Leicester Street, the same schools as David Woodfield who went on to play for Wolverhampton Wanderers and Tom Lewin, Chris Elliott and Keith Billington who were to become family friends over the years. When the Althorpe Estate was demolished, the family moved to 36 St. Margarets Road.
Geraldine Ann Gregg and Barry were married on August 3rd, 1968 at St. Peter’s church and this week would have been their 45th wedding anniversary, they had two children Scot and Gary who is a doctor. Barry worked at Flavels for many years then with the Co-operative Insurance.
After an illness, many friends and former team mates as well as family, would often call in and talk for ages with Barry having many a tale to recall. Barry and Geraldine made all visitors feel very welcome even on bad days. Tom went to see Barry on occasions where their loyalties were divided between their teams, Villa for Barry and the Baggies for Tom however Barry fought his illness with incredible bravery and was always cheerful as they argued over the merits or otherwise of their chosen clubs.
Among the teams Barry played for were South Leamington, at the time of his marriage he was with Lockheed works, then on to Saltisford Rovers who changed their name to Racing Club Warwick and in 1970/71 Barry netted 29 times for the Racers and he joined Lockheed Leamington in the summer of 1971 and he ended that first season as club leading goal scorer with 22 in 44 appearances. Brakes played at Kettering on January 29 and returned triumphant with Barry getting 2 of Lockheed’s three goals, the new Poppies manager – installed the previous month was Ron “Mr. Bojangles” Atkinson. Due to Geoff Coleman resigning, Bill Branston took over as caretaker until Jimmy Knox was appointed manager who brought his own people in and Barry’s appearances became few and far between. He left the Brakes to re-join Racing Club. In Leamington’s final season 1987/88, Barry became the company secretary and although the football stopped the club carried on holding regular board meetings plotting fund raising towards the new ground, a position he held for four years.
Barry played in Sunday football for Winsam who achieved the double in 1968/68, then in 68/69 with Barry top scoring with 29 goals and the following season, in 70/71 he moved to Westlea Wanderers where they also did the double as well as adding the new “Sunday League Challenge cup” which is open to all sides in the league. Their opponents in this final were Whittle Wanderers who had collected the second division double and with ten minutes to go were leading by two goals to one when Ian Montgomery equalised for Westlea taking the game into extra time, Barry secured the cup with two goals thus winning the tie 4-2. Whittle Wanderers were so close to being giant killers that season and Leamington Celtic was his final port of call before hanging up his boots, Barry won 4 Warwick Advertiser cup finals , three with Winsam and one with Westlea. His trade mark was the number of hat tricks scored in local cup finals and he was picked to play for the Leamington Sunday League Select Xl and among his team mates were Keith Orme, Billy Shanahan, Ivor Talbot, Bob Phillips, Chris Elliott and Keith Jones. He moved into management with Whittle and in 77/78 achieved another milestone when his side won the Warwick Advertiser cup final
Barry had a signature tune and he never needed an excuse to give his rendition of Frankie Vaughan’s “Green Door”. He would have been twelve years old when Nat Lofthouse scored twice to win the cup final for Bolton Wanderers against Manchester United in May 1958, is that where his nickname originated?
The funeral will be at St. Joseph’s Church, Whitnash on Thursday 8th August at 09.00am and it would be appreciated if any Brakes fans could be in attendance to say farewell to Barry who Bill Branston called “a wonderful, lovely man”. Followed by a funeral in Leamington Cemetery at 10.30am. A reception will be held in the Whitnash Sports and Social club in Heathcote Road following the burial to celebrate the life of a man no-one had a bad word to say about.
It must be getting crowded upstairs these past few months with Norman Brison, Frank Gardner, Nobby Saywell and now Barry, all of whom wore the Lockheed number nine shirt with pride.
To Barry’s wife Geraldine, children Scot and Gary, the grand children Noah, Eli, Evie, Rosie and Lauren, his brother and sister Ivor and Wendy plus all extended family relatives and their many friends, may I, on behalf of all members of the Brakes Trust and fans of Leamington Football Club offer our sincere and deepest condolences.
Rest in Peace, Barry
Finally in conclusion, I would like to thank Geraldine and her family for her co-operation at this sad time. Thank you for all the contributions of those who remembered Barry with great affection and respect, a truly remarkable person.