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Story posted: Friday, 23rd October 1992

Story courtesy of
While Gresley Rovers strive for Beazer League honours one Moatman is fighting a far tougher battle on his own.
John Barry, whose footballing future seemed wrecked after a tragic work accident left his thigh broken in four places, is on his way back for certain.

The 24-year-old Long Eaton-based upholster said as much himself after winning the first stage of his comeback fight on Saturday and walking back into the Moat Ground.

It may have been on crutches Barrys shattered leg is held together by steel plates and he does not expect it to touch the ground again for at least another three months but, after stepping back into the dressing room to a resounding cheer from his team-mates, Barry declared: Ill be back. Its just a matter of time and Ive got plenty of that!

Its not as if Im in my 30s or anything Ive still got youth on my side. It might take a lot more than a year, bit I cant wait to start training and playing again.

Cheerful in the face of such adversity, Barry admits he was devastated when the X-rays first showed the extent of the damage caused by falling through a roof.

When it first happened they said Id never play again and that was very hard to take. But when I went to see a doctor who examined me and told me that it would be a long time but I would be OK in the long run.

Its been a big blow to me because Ive never had anything like a serious injury before. Id never had more than a week off week.

Ive got to wait for a year before they take the pins out and my long term aim is to be playing again not this Christmas but the Christmas or New Year after that. Its a long time and I have to take things step-by-step, but Ive started physio this week and I feel much better much stronger.

Rovers are keeping a keen eye on his recovery and a half time bucket collection for him during the Barclays Southern League Cup match against Burton Albion at the Moat Ground raised more than 400.

He said: I just cant find the words to say how much the club has done for me. And it was a great surprise to get two cards delivered to me in hospital signed by hundreds of people all Gresley fans. It was absolutely brilliant and I cant thank people enough.

It had been great to come back to the ground with everyone asking how Im getting on. Of course, the lads are doing well without me so theyre not missing me much. Weve got a good squad together now and I just cant wait to be part of it again.
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  Team P GD Pts
12 Peterborough Sports 42 -8 51
13 Spalding United 42 -10 50
14 Loughborough Dynamo 42 -17 49
15 Sheffield FC 42 -19 45
16 Belper Town 42 -44 45
17 Gresley 42 -42 43
18 Kidsgrove Athletic 42 -20 42
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21 Market Drayton Town 42 -46 39
22 Romulus 42 -37 35

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