On Wards And Up Wards For Barry
A Change At Last – After 47 Years
Barry Powell is relishing a new working life outside the sport that has been his profession for almost half a century.
The former Wolves player and coach has been employed for the last few months as a clinical support worker not far from home at Warwick Hospital.
And, with his 62nd birthday approaching next month, he suspects the coaching course he is delivering soon afterwards might be his last.
“Just as I never wanted to let my team-mates down when I was playing, I wouldn’t want to leave the hospital in the lurch now by saying I’m disappearing to do some football work,” he said today.
“I am taking a course for David Busst at Coventry in February but have nothing planned after that and it would have to depend on my work here anyway.
“I am something like a nurse…..doing observations, taking blood pressure and temperature readings and applying and changing dressings.
“And I am working 12-hour shifts and through the night at times. Having signed for Wolves at 15 and been in football ever since, I have been told by a mate that I’d never had a proper job in my life – and he’s right in a way!
“But this is very rewarding, as well as being upsetting at times, because I’m in the old age and dementia ward. I looked after my dad for ten months when he was suffering from dementia and also have some first-aid and safeguarding experience from my coaching qualifications.
“I didn’t necessarily ever see myself doing anything within the NHS but it’s only 15 minutes away by car and the 12 weeks of training went well, so here I am.
“It was my son who recommended me to look here for a job. He used to have a job at the hospital and is now working with youngsters in prisons.
“I know I’m getting towards my retirement years but I can’t stand the thought of just twiddling my thumbs. I want to be doing something.”
Powell has not seen a game in person this season but hopes to be at the Wolves v Leeds clash a week on Thursday, having had to pull out of a planned trip to Nottingham Forest’s visit next weekend because of the switch to Friday night.