Barrie McDermott

Barrie McDermott

Barrie joined Leeds in September 1995 from Wigan. His career at Leeds has been an inspiration for many as he has fought back from adversity on a number of occasions.

In 1997 Barrie suffered an horrific injury at Headingley against Halifax that ruined his season and then responded to the disappointment of missing out on the Inaugural Grand Final in 1998 by collecting his first honours with the club in 1999, scoring a crucial game breaking try in the Silk Cut Challenge Cup Final.

He followed this up in 2001 when he was named the Rhinos Player of the Year for an outstanding season when he led from the front despite the Rhinos suffering a disappointing season.

That year also heralded a new era for the Rhinos as a number of young, up and coming players joined the first team squad and Barrie’s role in the team changed as he became a senior member of the team.

Barrie appeared in his third Challenge Cup Final in 2003 at Cardiff and then finally gained a Grand Final win in 2004 when he was part of the side that defeated Bradford Bulls at Old Trafford.

With the Grand Final win in 2004, Barrie became only the 22nd player in the 109 history of the club to have played in and won both a Challenge Cup winners medal and Championship Final winners medal. He was the first player since Les Dyl, Graham Eccles, John Holmes, David Ward and Phil Cookson completed their double with the 1977 Cup Final win over Widnes. Barrie was a try scorer in the Challenge Cup Final win in 1999 and started the Grand Final at Old Trafford against Bradford in 2004. Although Barrie has someway to go to catch John Atkinson who incredibly won two Championships and three Challenge Cups in his glittering career. However, he is the only player to have ever won both awards and a World Club Challenge winners medal as well.
He recently published his autobiography entitled “Made for Rugby” and is celebrating his testimonial with the club in 2005.

Barrie won a Championship winners medal in 1994-95 with Wigan and also made his debut for Great Britain in 1994. He earned a recall for the Great Britain side in the Tri-Nations series in 1999 and retained his place for the Ashes in 2001.
Since then he has been a ever present for Great Britain against New Zealand in 2002 and Australia again in 2003.

One of Barrie’s proudest moments of his career came in 2000 when he appeared for Ireland, in the World Cup, winning the man of the match in the opening game against Samoa and then captaining his country against France in 2001. Last year he rejoined the Ireland squad for the European Nations Cup when the side made it to the final against England in which Barrie scored a try and produced a man of the match performance.

After retiring from first team rugby, Barrie has carved out a career in the media, working for BBC TV and Sky TV, alongside his friend Terry O Connor, as well as making numerous hospitality appearances at Leeds and speaking at various sporting functions across the country.

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