Barry Kitchener, Harry Cripps, Teddy Sheringham, Terry Hurlock, Tim Cahill, Neil Harris, Paul Robinson. There have been many players who, whenever Millwall fans reminisce, will eloquently wax lyrical about how these are some of the greatest/hardest/most terrifying players they have ever seen at the Old and New Den. Players who we remember growing up watching wishing we could be, who we would cheer and chant their names from the stands and terraces. But what about the others? The players who when we find old programmes in the garage, we would flip it over and have completely forgotten that these players played a part in successful teams of the past. The ‘Steady Eddies’ who may not have scored hat-tricks or hit crunching tackles every week, but those who were reliable and wouldn’t let you down.
For this edition of Unsung Heroes, we look back at a player with a Jedward-like quiff and whenever he would try to hit the crossbar on Saturday mornings on Soccer AM would throw in a cheeky "single" comment, Scott Barron.
After developing through the youth academy at Ipswich Town and playing only a handful of games in the Championship, Barron was released from Portman Road and joined Willie Donachie's Millwall in June 2007. Being welcomed into a squad alongside Gary Alexander, Liam Trotter, Andy Frampton, Danny Spiller, Chris Hackett and Paul Robinson to name just a few, this Millwall side was one that was looking at promotion from the English third tier after a respectable 10th place finish the season before.
The 2007-2008 season saw a decent start in the opening two games with an away draw at Doncaster Rovers and a 1-0 home win against Cheltenham Town and Barron featured in both coming off the bench. So far so good for the Lions, but not even the most pessimistic Lions fan could foresee the South London side pick up only one point from their next six games. Barron was in and out the squad at that time and spent a lot of time dancing on his own on the sidelines when people were wondering why the young full-back was not getting more minutes. Donachie was shown the door in October 2007 after a disastrous 4-0 defeat away at Carlisle United and he was soon replaced by future Millwall legend, Kenny Jackett. Although facing relegation for the majority of the season and not really hitting any real level of consistency, the Lions limped to a 17th place finish and Barron only appeared in 17 games in his debut season featuring against the likes of AFC Bournemouth, Nottingham Forest, Leyton Orient, Swansea City and Coventry City. His last appearance for Millwall that year was in the 2-0 away defeat to Tranmere Rovers in February 2008, but Barron was keen to prove he was stronger than yesterday.
2008-2009 was a better season for Millwall and saw Barron on the score sheet when he netted in the 3-2 FA Cup away victory at Crewe Alexandra, but unfortunately for the defender he featured in only 16 Millwall fixtures due to being out of the squad at the start of the season. There was a silver lining for Barron who managed to get over his injury problems, shake it off and be virtually an ever present from when he arrived back in the side on Boxing Day against Peterborough United, all the way up to when he was in the squad to face Carlisle United in May 2009. Appearing in the 1-0 win against Southend United, the 2-1 win against Huddersfield Town, the 1-0 win at Stadium MK and the 3-2 win against Hartlepool United, Barron showed that he was an important part of the squad and showed the Lions fans what he could do. Millwall finished in 5th place that season and made the play-off final after beating Leeds United, but Barron was an unused substitute in the heartbreaking 3-2 defeat to Scunthorpe United which saw the Lions remain in League One for another season.
It was in the 2009-2010 campaign that saw a rise in performances for Barron and also a rise up the leagues for the Lions. After previous seasons which saw him in and out the side, the young defender decided to get up in the club, just broke up and did his own little thing. Featuring in 29 games in all competitions for Millwall, the full-back featured in a number of big victories including the 5-0 win against Tranmere Rovers, the 3-1 away win at fellow promotion favourites MK Dons, the 4-0 home demolition of Charlton Athletic and the 5-0 home annihilation of Stockport County as Millwall went on their way to a second successive Play-Off campaign when they finished the year in 3rd place in League One. After shining in the first leg of the Play-Off semi final with Huddersfield Town and helping his side to a 2-0 win over the Yorkshire side on aggregate, Barron found himself in an unfamiliar role of right back at Wembley when the South London side faced off with Swindon Town in the final. Although Charlie Austin came close to equalising for the Robins, his effort went wide and Millwall were promoted after a Paul Robinson goal confirmed a 1-0 victory for the Lions. Barron excelled in the final and marked his man tighter than his Dereon jeans and the rapport he was building with the home fans was just as skin tight.
Millwall's return to the second tier of English football in the 2010-2011 season was seen as a successful one, as the Lions finished in 9th place with 67 points after many predicted that the Bermondsey side would struggle. Barron again featured in more games than the previous campaign and played in 42 games for the Lions and was formidable on the left hand side in victories against Bristol City, Hull City, Derby County, Crystal Palace and Scunthorpe United. The defender found himself on the score sheet twice for Millwall in their comeback season and netted in the 2-1 away defeat to Cardiff City and the 1-1 home draw with Burnley. Barron continued to gain the support from the fan base who appreciated his determination, skill and flair and his performances delivered us to a destiny, to infinity and beyond.
Barron's last season with Millwall in the 2011-12 saw a reduction in game time for the quiffed defensive maestro, but he still amassed an impressive 28 games as the Lions finished the season in 16th place with a total of 57 points. The season was mixed for the Lions in general, as some impressive away wins at Burnley and Peterborough United were balanced out with disappointing defeats to Leeds United, Hull City and West Ham United.
In total, Scott Barron featured in 132 games for Millwall and scored 3 goals. After leaving The Den, the full-back went on to sign for Brentford before retiring in 2014. The defender joined the side when the haters were gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, but Barron made sure he was gonna play, play, play, play, play before going on to be a fan favourite in South Bermondsey. He may not have hit the crossbar on a Saturday morning on Sky Sports One, but Barron will be fondly remembered as an energetic, attacking defender who was a key part of one of our most successful sides in recent history.