Football: Stein stock rises on Underhill current: Henry Winter reports on the parallel advances of a football family and the Third Division leaders

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The Independent Online
WHEN Isiah Stein, an outspoken critic of South Africa's ruling class in the 1960s, moved his family away from Cape Town, little did he realise the impact his three sons would have in their adopted home.

Brian has won an England cap, humbled Arsenal in a League Cup final, and is now, with elder brother Edwin, helping Barnet play their way out of the Third Division. Mark, the youngest, is even closer to upward mobility, at Stoke, the runaway Second Division leaders.

Three brothers going up with two separate clubs in one season: 'It must be a record,' Brian said after Saturday's 2-1 win over Chesterfield. 'At Stoke in the Autoglass recently all of us were on the pitch. That could be another record.'

Their father, a popular figure at Underhill, smiles as talk turns to his talented offspring. 'They have done so well. I didn't want them brought up in South Africa. I was often under house arrest there.'

The subject of race surfaces again. 'I would like to become the first black manager,' Brian, 35, said. 'Edwin was manager here for three weeks when Barry (Fry) was sacked; I don't know if that counts. I heard Justin Fashanu wanted to be a manager, but I've had more experience than him.'

Brian certainly has the right resume. A long League career, primarily with Luton, and a spell at Caen has given him strong views on the art of managing. 'People are reluctant to choose a black manager,' he added, 'but I've the potential to be a good one.'

Intelligent and eloquent, Brian possesses a wide knowledge of the game's tactical and motivational sides; some club is going to gamble on him - and come up trumps.

Certainly a side who need a player-manager. He averaged a goal every three games at Luton and came off the bench to equalise on Saturday. Trailing to Dave Lancaster's 64th-minute header, the Bees began another comeback (the seventh this season) when Stein levelled from close range following Derek Payne's determined run.

Payne was again the creator two minutes from time. He dribbled across the area before passing to Gary Bull. 'I was looking to shoot,' the much admired Barnet forward said, 'but then I got a call from Huxxy (Richard Huxford).' Steaming in from the right was the Bees full-back, who let fly a stinging drive which sent Fry dancing down the touchline in jubilation.

'It was like that Brazilian goal,' Fry said, before bringing Barnet's answer to Carlos Alberto back to earth. 'He's scored three own goals so he's still minus two.'

The unique Fry features on the cover of this month's When Saturday Comes. Fry informs his fiery chairman, Stan Flashman, that he has called in the United Nations to bring the warring factions together; 'how many tickets do they want?' comes the reply. Funny, undeniably, but such irreverance has become an irrelevance; Barnet's knockabout image needs updating.

With the best home record outside Ibrox in the land, a superiority built on a tight, mobile defence and a prolific front-line, Fry's attacking team are a delight to watch. The Stein treble is definitely on.

Goals: Lancaster (64) 0-1; B Stein (76) 1-1; Huxford (88) 2-1.

Barnet: Phillips; Huxford, Naylor, Bodley, Barnett, Wilson, Payne, Carter (B Stein, 68), Bull, Lowe, Showler (Evans, 68).

Chesterfield: Marples; Dyche, Carr, Hebberd, Brien, Rogers, Fee, Norris (Morris, 58), Lancaster, Lemon, Kennedy (Turnbull, h/t).

Referee: A Gunn (South Chailey, Sussex).