Sports Persons » Football Players » BARRY VENISON
Barry Venison is a former English football player who during his active years on field played for various clubs including Sunderland, Liverpool, Newcastle United, Galatasaray and Southampton. Venison’s footballing career started as early as in 1981. He was only 17 years of age then. He made his mark at the under-21 level. Skilled at the game, his career reached new heights during his club career with Sunderland as he led the team in the Wembley Cup final against Norwich City, thus becoming the youngest player to captain a team. He was only 20 years and 220 days old then. After his stint with Sunderland, he was picked by Kenny Dalglish for Liverpool club. During his time with Liverpool, he won two championship medals. However, his position as the defender soon came under threat as younger players emerged in the team. After an on-and-off appearance, he exited from Liverpool to join Newcastle United. Interestingly, Venison got a new boost while playing for Newcastle United as he became a crucial defender for his team. What’s more, he successfully converted into the mid-field player for his team. Later in his career, Venison played for Galatasaray and Southampton. Currently, he has assumed the role of sports television pundit.
Venison’s footballing career started as early as on October 10, 1981 for Black Cats. He was only 17 then. The Black Cats lost the match to Notts County at Meadow Lane by 2-0.
Following his debut game, he played in about 20 league games, ending the season with a score of one goal. By 1983-84 season, he became the favorite player, missing just one match in the league.
He commenced his club career for Sunderland. Venison first came to limelight by becoming the youngest captain at 20 years and 220 days to lead his club, Sunderland against Norwich City in the 1985 Wembley cup final. Sadly, his club lost the match by 1-0 and thus were relegated to the Second Division.
By the end of the 1985-86 season, his contract with the Sunderland had terminated. With Sunderland demoted, he tried to attain membership at some other club by writing to top England football clubs.
At the age of 22, he had a mammoth experience with over 205 appearances. For his noteworthy abilities and his experience, he was soon absorbed into the Liverpool club by Kenny Daglish, team manager, who felt Venison would serve as the perfect successor to ageing Mark Lawrenson.
His Liverpool debut coincided with his 22nd birthday against derby rivals, Everton for the traditional curtain raiser at Wembley, the Charity Shield. The game ended 1-1, with both the teams sharing the shield.
Venison ended the season once again as League Cup final loser as Liverpool lost to Arsenal in the 1987 final. He finished the season, featuring in 33 out of 42 league games.
Year 1988 was a successful year for the Liverpool as they lost just 2 matches of the 40 league games played, eventually bagging the League Championship. Venison played 18 matches for the club. However, despite his good performance, he lost his position in the team to young defender Gary Ablett.
Liverpool’s match against Nottingham Forest in 1988 was remarkable one for Venison’s career as he scored his first goal for the club in the quarter finals of the Centenary Trophy. Liverpool won the game with a thrashing victory of 4-1.
In the April 1989 FA Cup, Venison was brought on to the field as the extra-time substitute. Liverpool defeated Merseyside rivals Everton 3–2. However, Liverpool lost the League title in the decider against Arsenal.
In 1990, Venison played 25 times in the league match, earning the championship medal as Liverpool made it to the 18th top division title.
In 1992, he scored his first goal for the Reds thrashing Notts County with a 4-0 victory. He made 13 appearances for Liverpool in the League Championship, as the club finished at the sixth position. They however won the FA Cup defeating Venison’s former club, Sunderland by 2-0.
With his number of appearances in the club squad lessening each season, Venison made a quick exit from Liverpool and joined Newcastle United on July 31, 1992. He made his debut for the new team on August 15, 1992 in the match against Southern United. Newcastle United defeated Southern United 3-2.
Venison’s entry to Newcastle United was a spectacular one, as the club won eleven matches in a row, finally losing to Grimsby Town by a last minute goal. Nevertheless, the team went on to become Division One Champions, recording a 2-0 victory.
Venison secured an important seat in the Newcastle defence during the 1993-94 season, as they finished at the third spot, closely following Manchester United and Blackburn Rovers. The victory helped them bag a place in Europe’s UEFA Cup.
For the 1994-95 season, Venison played 28 times for Newcastle, scoring just one goal. The team put up a spectacular performance in the top division campaign, recording a straight six victories. However, they lost the winning momentum, finishing at the 6th place.
In 1994, he made his debut international appearance, as he was picked by coach Terry Venables to represent England. His first ever match was against USA on September 7, 1994 in a friendly match which they won 2-0. His only other international appearance was on March 29, 1995 against Uruguay, yet again a friendly match that ended with a 0-0 draw.
After about 130 appearances for Newcastle, he exited the club after the 1994-95 season. Instead of trying for yet another club within the country, he tried his luck abroad, signing Galatasaray in Turkey on May 31, 1995 for £750,000. However, he just played eight games for the Turkish side before joining Southampton for £850,000.
For Southampton, he played a total of 27 Premier League games. The club reached the FA Cup quarter finals. For the 1996-97 season, he played two games for Southampton before announcing his retirement on October 20, 1996, following a back injury.
Post retirement, he served as the pundit first to Sky Sports and later moved on to ITV.
Early in the 2000s decade, he started an on-line sports memorabilia auction site, bid4sport.com, a non-profit company which aimed at raising money for various charities. Initially based at Romsey, the company shifted to west of Fareham. He sold the company shortly before leaving for United States.
Apart from his sporting career, he made a cameo appearance as himself in the big screen with the 2001 comedy film, ‘Mike Bassett: England Manager’.
Barry Venison was born on August 16, 1964 in Consett, County Durham.
Venison married Julie. The couple has been blessed with two children, a son Max popularly known as Max Morgan and daughter Jade. The family lives in Southern California.