Tributes have been paid to a "soccer legend" who represented the Welsh youth team, had an offer to join a former English Premier League side and helped define an era around Orange.
(min cost $8)
Login or signup to continue reading
Robert 'Bob' Barclay died on June 10 at the age of 77.
Two of Mr Barclay's three children, Latisha Ryall and Heath Barclay, described him as a "very smart man who loved talking sport".
"He was very talented. He would pull apart things and rebuild them and he was everything to our family," Mrs Ryall said.
"He kept on furthering his skills and would continually keep training to get new skills with whatever he was doing. He was constantly learning and upskilling."
Born in Wales, Mr Barclay moved to Australia in 1966 and initially lived in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs. But it was a job offer in the Central West which would change his life.
"One of his friends got offered a job to work on the building of Wyangala Dam. So dad ended up going along with him to Cowra for the work opportunity to see a bit more of Australia. That was his goal, to see different places," Mrs Ryall said.
"It was there that he met a family who he lived with and played soccer with. They actually got him into Telcom Australia as it was called at the time."
Then came a crossroads for Mr Barclay.
"Sheffield United (current English Football League Championship side) came out to watch his mate play and offered dad to come and train with them back in the day," his son said.
"He was asked to go there, but back in those days an apprenticeship meant everything. It was just him and his mother, so he couldn't leave her, and the apprenticeship was something you wouldn't knock back."
Mr Barclay would continue to work for Telstra as it would later be named and would move from Cowra to Young, to Forbes and to Bathurst before finally settling down with wife Cheryl in Orange.
He would continue to play soccer for Waratahs and Canobolas Rangers, before retiring around the early 1990s. His love-affair with the game would continue on and he would coach numerous sides, including the Western division team.
"Dad was involved in a lot of teams and he was well respected, especially within the soccer community," Mrs Ryall said.
"He made life-long friends through soccer and it was such a tight-knit community."
A beloved man and a known hard worker, Mr Barclay always wanted to keep himself busy, especially after he and his wife moved to Mullion Creek in the early 2000s.
"He semi-retired and started window cleaning, which kept him occupied," his son said.
"He did that for a number of years before fully retiring. He spent most of his time on the acreage, doing what he always wanted to do. He loved working outdoors and he was always working.
"He was a very smart man and he meant everything to us."
The family and friends of Mr Barclay are invited to attend his funeral service to be held at Holy Trinity Anglican Church Orange on Tuesday, June 21, commencing at 1.30pm. On conclusion the cortege will proceed to the Orange Cemetery.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.