SouthStander.com Hall of Fame
Leeds Career: 1996-2005
Photograph by kind permission and © Andrew Varley
From the moment that he put pen to paper to sign from arch rivals Wigan, Barrie McDermott’s destiny was to become a Headingley god, worshipped by his adoring
McDermott had played just thirteen times for Wigan after joining them from his home club Oldham. Signed in the first few days of Dean Bells’ tenure at
Headingley, he arrived into a Leeds side that was struggling in the league and financially off the pitch. Despite the turmoil, McDermott’s hard working, hard
hitting, no nonsense style of play, immediately endeared him to the Leeds supporters.
Over a Leeds playing career of ten years, Barrie made over two hundred and eighty appearances, scoring forty tries. A serious injury in 1998 sidelined him
for the majority of a season, but he struck back to play a major try-scoring role in the Rhinos 1999 Challenge Cup win over London Broncos.
McDermott was also key to the Rhinos 2004 Grand Final win, making him only the 22nd Leeds player ever to have won both a Challenge Cup and a Championship.
Honoured by his county, country (both England and Ireland) and Great Britain, Barrie has proved that he can star at every level in the game.
Regular visits to the disciplinary committee at Red Hall, a running battle with arch enemy Bradford Bulls’ Stuart Fielden, and a propensity to respond to the
South Stands chants of ‘Barries gonna get you!’ all served to make the GB prop a Leeds legend.
A ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ character of the highest order, off the field Barrie is one of the most generous and gentle giants that you could hope to meet. Always
time for the fans, he is a great ambassador for the game, who is never happier than when at home with his beloved kids and wife. That’s not to say that you’d
want to come up against him on the rugby field, or for that matter, once he’s had a few beers!
Retiring after ten years leading the Rhinos from the front, Barrie becomes the worthiest of inaugural inductees into the SouthStander.com ‘Hall of Fame’.