In a statement, his family said that it was with profound sadness that they announce his death after a brave battle with Lewy Body Dementia.
Barker lifted the African Cup of Nations as national coach with Bafana Bafana in 1996. Nicknamed ‘The Dog’, Barker coached numerous South African clubs since the 1970s.
Barker was born in Durban in 1944. He turned professional footballer at the age of 17.
He played for numerous clubs including Durban City and Durban United until a recurring knee injury abruptly ended his promising career as a player. But that did not stop his passion for the beautiful game as he honed his skills in coaching.
Barker became one of the first white managers in the Professional Soccer League, coaching Durban City, Manning Rangers and AmaZulu.
It was at AmaZulu where Barker’s star rose in coaching circles.
AmaZulu tasted their first cup victory under Barker’s tutelage in 1992, beating Kaizer Chiefs in the Coca-Cola tournament.