Barnet FC were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of former manager Dexter Adams on Saturday.
Dexter, who managed the club between 1962 and 1970 was 89, and passed away peacefully in his sleep following a short illness.
Dexter was responsible for overseeing Barnet’s transition from their status as a powerful amateur club to feared and much-revered semi-professional one.
During his first four seasons at the helm Barnet won the Athenian League twice and were runners-up once before claiming the Southern League Division One championship in 1965 after turning semi-professional.
Dexter was also responsible for signing numerous players whose names have become synonymous with Barnet, including the great Ricky George who had this to say about his former manager:
“For a young footballer badly lacking in confidence and belief Dexter Adams was a godsend. At every previous club I had played for a depressing pattern had emerged: start well, fade, finish badly. Dexter Adams changed all that.
“He was a part-time manager with a career outside football. He had been a top Amateur player, an England international and for those very reasons he adopted a different approach to the managers I had previously played under.
“He did his research. He spoke to Bill Nicholson and others and gave himself a picture of the type of person and player I was. We discussed my career as one might with a therapist. Dexter wasn’t looking to see if I could run fast, or beat a man or pass the ball. He knew all that, what he wanted to do was get inside my head and start again.
“Dexter had me weighed up and embarked on a course of therapy that simply was to re-boot a loss of confidence that had deteriorated over seven years. It worked and for the two seasons only that I played for him, he rescued a lost career.
“As a coach and manager he had the often used phrase ‘siege mentality’ about his team. He did not suffer fools and no one was ever left in any doubt about Dexter’s opinion when he gave it. But he was a gentleman and very intelligent. There was no gratuitous bad language, no gratuitous insults hurled. If criticism was justified it was delivered in a calm and serious fashion.
“Above all he was a passionate student of the game. A sounding board for Sir Alf Ramsey, for Bertie Mee and the aforementioned Nicholson, all of whom sought his opinion regularly. As a coach he looked for players with the ability to interpret his desired style of play.
“For me, as a proud member of one of Dexter’s greatest teams, a ‘well done’ from the great man was all I ever needed.”
Meanwhile, BBC commentator John Motson, who began his journalistic career in 1963 with the Barnet Press during Dexter’s reign at Underhill, remembered the man with great fondness:
“He was a great man in every sense of the word. His passing leaves a gap in my life as well as countless many others.”
Dexter leaves his widow Sheila, with whom he had been married for 62 years, and three daughters.
His funeral will take place at Peterborough Crematorium on Tuesday 17th February at 15:00.
This weekend’s programme for our game against Woking will include a special tribute feature on Dexter’s time at Barnet FC, whilst a minute’s silence will be held as a mark of respect before kick-off.
Everybody at Barnet FC would like to pass on our deepest condolences to Dexter’s family and friends, and invite all supporters to join us in remembering a great man this weekend.