Fans United: The Barry Town community spirit which inspired a Bluebird

Barry Town United, the story so far

Celebrations. Image by Rhys Skinner.

Forget Gavin and Stacey and an iconic amusement arcade, there’s more to the seaside town of Barry than a BBC sitcom and a former Butlin’s holiday camp.

There has been a football club in the town for more than a century, and the history books tell its sometimes turbulent tale over that time.

But at the heart of the ups and downs is a dedicated fan-base, committed to supporting its team and playing a part in bringing further success to Jenner Park.

It was against that backdrop that a University of South Wales Photojournalism student began a project to explain the Barry Town United story as he saw it.

“I made the film, Up the Town, with Barry Town United because although their story is well documented, I didn’t think the stories of the people themselves had been told very well,” said Rhys Skinner, a final year student.


“I made the film to educate people on how incredible this club’s story is and to hopefully inspire people to go down and watch them play. Local football clubs can be the lifeblood of a community and I think you can see this in how hard Barry Town United fans fought to save their club – it’s a huge part of their community and their lives.”

The 21-year-old is Cardiff born and supports the Bluebirds, but has followed the Welsh Premier League outfit with interest.

“I think that it’s common for fans to be detached from their clubs now, but Barry is a proper community club with a fan base that have a deep connection to their team.

“I’ve always had a passion for football and in my final year I wanted to start working in the sport because my desire is to be a sports photographer when I finish university.

“Along with the film I’m working as the club’s photographer this year, building a portfolio of sports photography work that should help me find a job.”

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.