Willie Barron retires

26th January, 2017 •
Posted In: Squad News
Written By: Graeme Macleod •
Comments: 0 Comments

WILLIE Barron has left the club and retired from football.

The 36-year-old returned to the club in the summer and made seven appearances this season.

Manager Ronnie Sharp said: "Willie came to us this week at training and said he would be hanging up the boots and taking a break from football. Of course, we are disappointed to lose a player of Willie's calibre and experience but we completely understand his reasons."

"His work and family commitments mean that he was restricted in terms of how many games he was available for and he said that he was finding it more and more of a struggle to recover fully after training and games, which I can certainly relate to."

"He came into the squad at very short notice at the start of the season and we threw him straight into the team on the opening day after just one training session. He did not look out of place in that or any of the other games he played in which is testament to his ability and how he looks after himself."

"His work at the undertaker's meant that he was unavailable for a lot of Saturdays but he still hardly missed a training session and that shows you the level of professionalism he has. It was also great to have a player with his attitude and ability and who has achieved what he has in the Highland League in and around training on a regular basis for the younger players at the club to learn from. That will have been invaluable to them."

Sharp added: "Willie refused to take a wage from the club this season which is a measure of the man. On behalf of everyone at the club, I thank him for his services to Nairn County over the years, I hope he enjoys his break from the game and I wish him well with whatever he decides to do in the future in and out of football."

Barron's Nairn County career started in the late 90s, meaning that he has appeared in a yellow jersey in three different decades.

He was major part of Ronnie Sharp's squad during the manager's first spell in the hot seat and took the club captaincy in 2008, having won his first winners' medal with the club in the 2005 North of Scotland Cup final.

He also claimed a runner-up medal 12 months later before lifting the North Cup again in 2008 with his second runner-up medal earned the following season with a goal-scoring appearance against Inverness CT in the final.

Barron left the club in February 2010 and following a short spell at Nairn St Ninian, he returned to Highland League football with Forres Mechanics, where he experienced the high point of his career in lifting the championship in 2012.

He stepped down from Highland League football after his stint at Mosset Park ended and kept himself ticking over with St Ninian in the juniors and Jackos in the Welfare League before answering an SOS call from his old boss Sharp in the summer to have one last go at this level.

He now ends his lengthy Highland League career with three winners' medals and two runner-up medals to his name, making him one of the most decorated footballers to ever come out of Nairn.

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