After a 17 year playing career, Chris Barker has died at aged 39. Barker made over 150 appearances for Cardiff and played over 100 times for Barnsley, where he began his career. The left back also represented QPR, Plymouth Argyle and Aldershot Town during his playing career.
His sports management agency World in Motion tweeted on Thursday: “It is with great sadness that we learn of the untimely and tragic passing at the age of 39 of Chris Barker. “Chris was a client throughout his outstanding playing career of over 500 league games. Moreover, Chris was a wonderful person, an absolute gentleman and a pleasure to work for.”
Barker’s brother Richard is assistant manager at Rotherham and a statement released by the League One club said: “Rotherham United were deeply shocked and saddened to learn of the news of the passing of Chris Barker, brother of our assistant manager Richard.
“We offer our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the Barker family whilst reaffirming that the thoughts of everyone at the football club, and indeed the town, are with Richard at this incredibly difficult time.”
Tributes have also come from Barker’s former teammates, with Brighton defender Adam Webster tweeting: “RIP Chris Barker. A former team mate of mine and someone who helped me grow up on and off the pitch @OfficialShots thoughts and prayers go out to his family. RIP barks.”
A South Wales Police statement read: “Police can confirm the sudden death of a 39 year-old man who was discovered at his home address in the Cyncoed area of Cardiff at approximately 2pm on New Year’s Day. “His death is not being treated as suspicious and the Coroner has been informed.”