A NEW book has been published telling the story of Barry Town's 25-year roller-coaster ride in Welsh football.

The book celebrates the history of Barry Town Football Club over a quarter of a century – a period in which the club became one of Wales’ football giants before going into administration and were withdrawn from the league, even having to take the Football Association of Wales to court in order to play.

Unbelievable Barry Town, published by St David’s Press, focuses on the club’s success, failure and revival between 1993 and 2019, the year in which the club once again reached the Europa League – 25 years after Barry first played in Europe.

The book is written by Cllr Ian Johnson, a club supporter who has edited Barry Town’s matchday magazine and the club’s first ever website, as a university student in the 1990s.

He also wrote columns for the Barry & District News on the club’s turbulent fortunes on and off the pitch during the noughties.

He is also known as a local councillor for the centre of Barry, which includes Jenner Park where the club plays.

“Barry Town’s story is one that needs to be told,” said Mr Johnson.

“It can be difficult for people to understand how a club that was so successful in the 1990s and early 2000s, playing Dynamo Kyiv and Porto, suddenly became an amateur club who were pulled out of the league by their owner.

“Following those challenges, it’s an inspiration how the fans took on the Football Association of Wales and rebuilt the club so that they are back in the Cymru Premier League and in Europe once again.

“It was after promotion back to the Premier in 2017 that I started to think about writing the book.

“Club historian, Jeff McInery had written an earlier volume on the club until 1993, ironically stopping just before one of the club’s most successful seasons that ended with beating Cardiff City in the Welsh Cup Final.

“It made sense to start the story from there – where Barry won the Welsh Premier seven times in eight seasons – and bring it up to date to 2019 and the end of this decade.

“I hope that the book, which is a season by season narrative, reminds fans who were there of the good, and less good, times following the club, and gives a flavour of those times for newer fans.

“It’s been a lot of fun to write, bringing back lots of memories of away days following the club across Wales and Europe, as well as the characters on and off the pitch who make up a football club. However well or badly you do one season, there’s always another one ahead of you.

“Ultimately, though, this is a story about how fans and the community got their club back and made it a success, and I think that’s a great example for the town in which we live.”

Barry Town manager, Gavin Chesterfield, who wrote the book's foreword said: "This book captures the essence of the town’s football club and the people and community who serve as its heartbeat.

"This club is about its people; it’s about the supporters; the volunteers; the hard working committee that spend more time on club duties than their own business and family interests; it’s about the staff and players across the entire club that wear our shirt with pride and spend long hours trying to represent the town to the best of their abilities.

“It’s a club I’m proud to be a part of and one that provides me and my family with much joy."

Packed with more than 100 photographs, the book is already being snapped up by Barry Town supporters via pre-orders and is also generating considerable interest among followers of the Welsh Premier League.

Unbelievable Barry Town is published in paperback, priced £16.99.