HUMBLE, personable and a fierce competitor, Barry Jackson was York City through and through. He loved the club, and the club loved him.

The excellent ‘Citizens and Minstermen’ book opens his rich biography by referring to the club’s record appearance-maker as “the big daddy of them all” - and it is hard to argue otherwise.

Standing at 6ft 2ins, Barry was a towering presence in the Minstermen’s back line, an uncompromising and whole-hearted defender who intimidated the opposing side and reassured his own.

This he did for a total of 539 York City games between his debut in August 1958 and his final appearance in January 1970.

Born in Askrigg, a town in the Yorkshire Dales, on February 2, 1938 to father Cliff - the local policeman - and mother Elizabeth, Barry and his family settled in Huntington after they moved to York.

Barry attended Joseph Rowntree School, where he was head boy in his final year, and went on to do an apprenticeship at Cooke, Troughton & Simms, the York-based instrument makers.

After finishing his apprenticeship, Barry did his National Service with the RAF, where he had the pleasure of playing in the same team as Ron Atkinson, George Curtis and Eric Winstanley against an Army side starring Alex Young, Ron Yeats and Johnny Byrne.

He featured as a centre-forward for the successful Cliftonville junior side, playing alongside future Arsenal attacker Colin Addison, before catching the eye of then City boss Sam Bartram as a central defender. He went on to star in pre-season friendlies for York, and earned himself a full-time contract with the Minstermen before the Christmas of 1956.

His big break at City came at the start of the 1958/59 campaign when he stepped in to replace the injured Howard Johnson - and from there, made York history.

Barry was dropped just once in his City career, in October 1968, after an incredible unbroken run of 474 games.

In January 1970, he was sent off at Scunthorpe and handed an eight-week ban, having earlier received a suspended sentence - the first instance of such a sanction - during a pre-season game at Scarborough. This cruelly caused him to miss his own testimonial, which was held in February that year.

At the end of the season, Barry left Bootham Crescent to join Scarborough ahead of the 1970/71 season but, no more experiencing the joy of being a City player, it was not long before he hung up his boots and went on to work as a collector, and then a meter-reader, for Northern Electric.

Barry and his wife Susan spent the past 20 years in Pitlochry in Scotland, living a quiet life which contrasted with his footballing days.

“I think that summed Barry up in many ways,” said his brother Grant. “He was very popular, outgoing, loved by everyone, but also a very private person, particularly in those later years.

“He was good at all sports,” Grant recalled. “But his main love was always football.

“I remember when he was an early teenager, he went to a clinic run by Stanley Matthews and after coming back, he spent all of his spare time kicking a ball around the back yard.

“Barry was a fierce competitor with a short fuse, and I think that this was his Achilles heel,” he added. “It got him into trouble at times.

“He was a great brother to me, supportive in any way he could be, and I’m sure that being his brother helped me along in my social life as everyone wanted to talk to me about him!”

Barry’s devotion to York won him a great number of admirers on the terraces, and he duly reciprocated. Wherever he was, Barry always had time for a chat, whether that be at the sweet shop he ran near Bootham Crescent during his playing days, or working with Northern Electric.

One fan recalls how, as a seven-year-old looking for a first City autograph, Barry took the young supporter into the dressing room so the whole team could sign the book.

Barry died on November 7 this year after being unwell with dementia for some months. The news of his sad passing was met with many, many more such heartwarming tales of a grand figure in York’s history.

Susan said: “This is a big thank-you to everyone who sent in those wonderful comments about Barry.

“He would have been so proud - as I am - to know people thought so highly of him. He was a warm, kind, generous man, who never thought very highly of himself. These comments would have given him great joy, as they have eased some pain for me. Thank you.

“Barry loved his time with York City and Northern Electric. He loved people and chatting.

“We were married for 53 years. He was, and always will be, the love of my life.”