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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Wycombe's 46-year-old goalkeeping coach keeps clean sheet

Barry Richardson is normally on the sideline, but he took the pitch on Saturday.

Barry Richardson is a 46-year-old goalkeeping coach who hasn't played a league match since 2002. But he did admirably when called into action for League Two Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday.

Richardson came on to replace the injured Alex Lynch, a man 26 years his junior, in the 15th minute of Wycombe's game against Plymouth. He went on to keep a clean sheet to help his side win 1-0.

Richardson was the only other goalkeeper on the books at Wycombe after the club sold Matt Ingram to Queens Park Rangers last week.

He became a goalkeeping coach in 2005, though he has been named as an available substitute many times since for Doncaster Rovers, Nottingham Forest, Cheltenham Town and Peterborough United. Even so, he hadn't played in a competitive match since a November 2005 Football League Trophy appearance for Doncaster.

On Saturday, he blocked a shot with his legs in first-half stoppage time. After the break, he made two more saves on shots from distance and was tested by a free kick.

Wycombe manager Gareth Ainsworth, who is also younger than Richardson, hailed his defenders for giving the keeper relatively little to do.

"After losing Alex Lynch in the first twenty minutes, the boys had to really battle hard to try and keep Barry Richardson away off the ball as much as possible. We dug in and ran the clock down really well," he told BBC radio. "The game is all about opportunity, and what an opportunity Barry Richardson has had this afternoon. He is now the oldest player to play for Wycombe, and not only did he keep a clean sheet, but I think he is the first to do so at Plymouth this season. I won't be looking to start him next week, though!"

Where's the respect? Now someone please get the man an ice pack or two.


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