When Dutch legend Edgar Davids came out of retirement to become player-manager of Barnet in October 2012, you just knew it was going to be one hell of a rollercoaster.
An enigmatic and colourful character as a player, Davids represented clubs such as Ajax, Juventus, Barcelona and Inter Milan during an illustrious professional career.
The final step on Davids’ journey was with the Bees and it was certainly a chapter in his life that he wouldn’t forget in a hurry – and nor would the Barnet players that he managed.
Davids took sole charge of the Bees following Mark Robson’s departure in December 2012, but was unable to prevent them from dropping out of the Football League as they were relegated on the final day of the season.
The legendary midfielder made nine appearances for the Bees in the Conference Premier in the 2013/14 campaign, before resigning as boss in January 2014.
But the impact he made on the club was long-lasting – as illustrated by former Barnet striker Jake Hyde on Friday’s EFL show.
Detailing Davids’ typical habits as manager, Hyde said: “Glasses on top of his head, laces undone, he’d always walk out 20 minutes in.
“So we’d we warming up every single day and we’d have no idea if we were going to see him or not.
“Some days in the winter when it was really cold he had this beautiful £100,000 Bentley – but if you looked at his rims they were shredded to bits and all cut up.
“He’d come in and be parked over three spaces right at the front. We’re thinking to ourselves, ‘You’re ruining that car!’
“We’d be out there training doing the warm up and a couple of times in the winter rather than coming out and training with the boys – all of sudden it would be an hour in and you’d be thinking he’s not turning up today – you’d just see the Bentley.”
He continued: “It would be coming over all the pitches, down the slope, all the way down to the back and the continuing to drive on the pitch.
“He’d be sat behind the goal with the heating on, feet up on the dashboard watching us for about 20 minutes!
“I wouldn’t be able to concentrate thinking he’s sat here watching me, but he’s sat in the Bentley! He wasn’t even training, but he’d start himself on Saturday!
“He’s probably not the best driver – that’s the best way I can probably put it. We’re trying to concentrate on the passing drill and he’s doing about three reverse [manoeuvres] each way and he’s stuck in the mud and can’t get back up the hill!
“He’s now stranded and doing laps of the pitch in his Bentley watching us train! Brilliant stories like that will live with me forever.”
In December 2013, Davids was sent off for the third time that season as Barnet lost 2–1 against Salisbury City.
That would be the final time Davids would play for Barnet as he walked away from the club the following month.
He certainly went out with a bang though – and everyone associated with Barnet Football Club will never forget him!