Jamaican-born Barnes moved to London 1976 when he was 12 years old. After impressing talent scouts whilst playing for Middlesex League club Sudbury Court, Barnes was signed to Watford's reserve team in 1981.

At the age of 17, Barnes made his debut for Watford as a sub under the management of Graham Taylor. In 1987, after incredible successes at the club which saw them rise through the ranks in 1981–1982 finishing as runners-up for the League title, Barnes moved to Liverpool, which at the time was managed by Kenny Dalglish.


Barnes enjoyed an illustrious career at Liverpool which lasted a decade. In 1990, Barnes was voted Football Writer's Player of the Year thanks to his performances  with Liverpool. Bobby Robson kept a close eye on Barnes during the lead up to the Italia 90 World Cup, selecting him for the final squad. It was Robson who had given Jamaican-born Barnes his England debut in 1983.

Off the pitch, Barnes was known for his big personality. In 1990, Barnes featured on the 1990 World Cup Song World in Motion, by New Order, providing a rap fr the song which went to Number 1 in the UK.

On 13th August 1997, Barnes left his beloved Liverpool, racking up 108 goals for the club in 407 appearances and having won four major trophies.


With careers that overlapped, the fiery Éric Cantona was known for his hot-headed on and off pitch antics during his career in the 1990s.

Born in Marseille in 1966, Cantona played for French teams Auxerre, Martigues, Marseille, Bordeaux, Montpellier, Nîmes and Leeds United before picking up his jersey for Manchester United.

With Man United, Cantona won four Premier League titles in an impressive 5 years, as well as two League and FA Cup Doubles. Cantona also won the league championship for seven out of eight of the seasons he played. In the 1996 FA Cup Final, Cantona became the first non-British or Irish captain to lift the FA Cup trophy.

Before his move to Manchester United, where his name became synonymous with the club, Cantona made 15 appearances for Leeds during their championship win season.

In 1992, Cantona transferred to Manchester, where he was crowned ''King Eric'' by fans. Despite his hot-headedness on the pitch - Cantona faced numerous bans for his violent outbursts both on players and fans - the French played often top Manchester United's greatest players lists.

On the pitch, Cantona would don his trademark number 7 shirt and where it with his collar turned up. The 7 shirt has been worn by many a Manchester United, including George Best and David Beckham.

Cantona's temper would often land him in hot water, leading to bans and even being stripped of his captaincy for France's national team. He was banned on for seasons, including in 1994-1995. At a press conference Cantona infamously said: ''When the seagulls follow the trawler, it's because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea. Thank you very much,'' be abruptly leaving.

The numbers in Cantona's career are as awe-inspiring as John Barnes'. Cantona scored 64 league goals for Manchester United, totalling 80 goals in less than five years during the pinnacle of his career.

Both pieces featured in this article will be included in John Pye's auction on 2nd October, 2017. Check out the full catalogue here.