El Rubio: Barnes, United & Betis

This week Manchester United play Real Betis in the Europa League. This immediately brings to mind the stories of the former England international winger Peter Barnes. Barnes, or El Rubio as he was known in Spain (it means the blond one).

Peter’s time at both clubs is covered in my authorised biography of him. There are some touching moments and some great stories too. The book was started before the Covid pandemic and then was delayed because of Covid. Despite the delays it was great to write this biography and Peter’s a wonderful person who has an interesting story. I’m sure fans of every club Peter was involved with and neutrals will enjoy reading the book.

You can buy the book below.

This 372 page, colour paperback book is £16.95 (including UK postage).

United Kingdom

The Peter Barnes Authorised Biography – UNITED KINGDOM

Order today for £16.95 (incl UK Postage and Packaging).


To order please use the button above (UK postage included; outside UK contact me for additional postage costs). You do not need to have a PayPal account to order – use the ‘Pay with PayPal’ button above and it will give you the option to pay by credit/debit card without creating a PayPal account.

Here are the contents pages:

This long awaited authorised biography, written by Gary James with the memories and stories of Peter’s career throughout, tells the story of Peter’s life from his childhood in Manchester and Wrexham through to the modern day. With particular focus on his footballing career with Manchester City, West Bromwich Albion, Leeds United, Real Betis, Coventry City, Manchester United, Tampa Bay Rowdies and, of course, England.

If you run a book shop and would like to know more about the book please email: accounts@manchesterfootball.org

The ISBN is 978-1-9168852-0-2.

You can listen to Peter in conversation with myself about the book here:


Gary James

Barnes is Back!

On this day (13 January) in 1987 Peter Barnes re-signed for Manchester City from Manchester United and made his first appearance at home to Liverpool four days later.

You can still purchase copies of my acclaimed biography of Peter Barnes. Every copy bought direct from me will be signed by me. You can order here:

John Gidman

On this day (10 January) in 1954 future Manchester United and Manchester City full-back John Gidman was born.  Gidman briefly became a cult hero at Maine Road by stating that City were the only side he would leave Old Trafford for at the time of his transfer in 1986. He went on to make 66 (plus 1 as substitute) appearances for the Blues.

Peter Barnes played a part in getting Gidman to Manchester City. The full story is in my biography of Peter which can be bought here:

Do you have memories of John Gidman at City? If you do why not leave your memory as a comment or email it to me for possible future use on this website?