Edgar Davids - The Story Behind The Infamous Number One Shirt At Barnet

To celebrate Edgar Davids' 45th birthday we've decided to go back in time and remember the time he joined League Two side Barnet as a joint-head coach because, well, it's non-stop entertainment.

The former Juventus, Barcelona and Inter Milan midfielder was drafted in to help a struggling Mark Robson mid-way through the season.


The club couldn't win a game but perhaps the world-renowned Davids - who was appropriately nicknamed 'The Pitbull' during his playing days - could help them climb the league table?

I mean, they were predicted to go down before the campaign had even begun. What was there to lose?

Barnet's Edgar Davids during the warm up before the npower League Two match at the Underhill Stadium, Barnet.
Barnet's Edgar Davids during the warm up before the npower League Two match at the Underhill Stadium, Barnet.

Davids came in, but couldn't help the League Two side climb out of the relegation zone. In a cruel twist of fate, they went down on the final day of the season after a defeat to Northampton Town.

The following year is when the madness started to happen.

At the start of the 2013/14 season, Davids decided he would wear Barnet's number one shirt, saying he wished to start a trend by doing so. "That is my number for the season. I am going to start this trend." he said.

Of course the shirt number didn't catch on and Davids became one of the few outfield players to boast the number one jersey.


Then just four months into the season, he considered retirement as a player after his third red card of the season.

One of those red card decisions happened during a televised Skrill Conference Premier game against Wrexham.

Davids named himself captain and started as a centre back, but it didn't last long. He swung an elbow at former Liverpool defender Stephen Wright and was immediately sent to the stands.

Image: Kieran Calvin
Image: Kieran Calvin

Despite his actions, the player/manager defended himself, saying some of the decisions were 'exaggerated'.

"I am a target but it is OK. I don't think I am going to play anymore because they're taking away the fun. "I want the team to do well. If you look at the red cards, some are definitely red cards and some are exaggerated. It is hard to complete our tasks when a lot of decisions are against you."

Just a month after he threatened to retire, Barnet announced that he had "resigned by mutual agreement." It may have been short lived, but Davids' stint at The Hive Stadium was certainly full of drama and entertainment.

Happy Birthday Edgar, you wonderfully crazy human being.

Jack Kenmare

Jack Kenmare is a writer at SPORTbible. He's interviewed some huge names in the world of sport, including Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Pele, Carles Puyol and Tim Henman. He dabbles in all things sport, but football is his biggest passion. He was once hit in the head by a wayward strike from Nicky Butt and lived to tell the tale.

Next Up

arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up camera clock comment cursor facebook-messenger facebook Instagram link new-window play share snapchat submit twitter vine whatsapp ODDSbible