Wardley, Gateshead, County Durham born right or left back Edward “Ned” Barkas began his football career with Bedlington in 1918 and spent some of 1919-20 on the books of Second Division South Shields without making a first team appearance. He also played for Hebburn Colliery in 1919 before joining newly elected Third Division (South) club Norwich City, for whom he made his Football League debut, still an amateur, at Brentford in October 1920, his only appearance for The Canaries. He returned to non league football with Bedlington United later in 1920 before joining Herbert Chapman’s revolution at First Division Huddersfield Town in 1921, making his debut that September at Bolton Wanderers, making only 3 further first team appearances in his debut season for The Terriers.
He established himself in the first team from October 1922 but played only half of their games in their 1923-24 League Championship winning season, then playing only once as they retained the title in 1924-25 and 13 times as they completed the hat-trick of titles in 1925-26. He remained a fringe player as they finished runners up in 1927, but re-established himself as the prominent full back (playing mainly in the left berth) in 1927-28 as they again finished second, playing in their 1928 FA Cup Final defeat to Blackburn Rovers at Wembley and scoring 4 goals in the season, 3 of them penalties, his only goals for Town. However he had returned to the fringes the next season before becoming manager Leslie Knighton’s first signing for Birmingham in December 1928 having made 131 appearances for Huddersfield.
After seven and a half seasons at Leeds Road he enjoyed eight and a half seasons at St Andrews, where he won another FA Cup runners up medal, captaining Birmingham in their 2-1 defeat to local rivals West Bromwich Albion in the 1931 Final at Wembley. Barkas was a regular throughout the 1930’s as Birmingham maintained their First Division status, before he followed Knighton to Chelsea in the summer of 1937 after 9 goals, 8 of which were penalties, in 284 appearances for The Blues. He played a fringe role in the final two peacetime seasons before the Second World War for The Pensioners, making 28 appearances, before retiring from League football, making his last appearance on the last day of 1938 shortly before his 38th birthday.
Returning to the Midlands, from 1939 to 1943 he was player manager of non league Solihull Town, before joining Wilmot Breeden in 1943 and finishing his playing days with Nuffield Mechanics.
He came from a footballing family: his brother Sam played for Bradford City and Manchester City and captained England; a cousin, Billy Felton, played for Sheffield Wednesday, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur and also played for England; and three other brothers Tommy (Bradford City, Halifax Town, Rochdale, Stockport County and Carlisle United), James and Harry (South Shields/Gateshead and Liverpool) were professional footballers.