Saturday, 16 June 2012

Introducing... Evan Sillette

At the end of the troubled 1950-51 season (weren't they all?!), Barry began to attract new players - what with the money that was suddenly swilling around the club after a dramatic last minute buy-out.

One of these new players was Evan Sillette.  Although he signed from Ipswich Town, where he'd only ever been a youth player or Reserve, he actually hailed from Barry.

Presumably, this connection had something to do with one Bill Jones.  Bill Jones originally played for us in the 1930s, but after the War he had resurfaced as some kind of guru and 'advisor' at Barry Island where the Island team went on to win the then prestigious Youth Cup.

He was also the local scout for Ipswich Town.  I haven't checked, but it wouldn't surprise me to find that Evan Sillette was a product of this Barry Island team.

Anyway, by May 1951 it was announced in the local press that Barry Town had signed Sillette and fans would see him make his debut for the club at the Festival of Britain Match against Newport County at Jenner Park.  Our manager at the time?  Bill Jones.

In what surely has to be the most stunning of debut appearances, Sillette put the Linnets 1-0 up in the first minute.  In fact, the goal was actually clocked at 8 seconds!  Quite the signing.  He added another in the second half, and with a further goal from McLaren on the hour mark, Barry ran out 3-1 winners.  The date was May 11th 1951

Other debutantes that evening were Bobbie Quinn, ex of Celtic, and Charlie 'Midge' Hill, recently ex of QPR and Swindon Town - but it's Sillette's debut that no doubt stuck in the minds of the Barry fans as they left Jenner Park that evening.

Unfortunately, despite making such an impact on his debut it was to be Evan Sillette's only game for Barry Town.  With just weeks to go to the start of the 1951-52 Sillette was described as being "snatched from under the noses of Barry Town" by Southern and Welsh League rivals, Lovell's Athletic, and that was that.

In truth, there was so much going on at Barry during the summer of 1951 that perhaps Sillette somehow got lost in the mix of all the new faces, such as Charlie Dyke and Johnny Foxton, arriving at the club.

Anyway, he may have had only one game, but let's get Evan Sillette's name out there shall we?  The boy who scored a goal for his home town club just 8 seconds into his debut - and to do it against an arch rival such as  Newport County was fantasy football for the Barry fans.

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