Barnet Mad reflects sadly at the untimely loss of one of Barnet's most respected former players.

Keith Alexander, the manager of Macclesfield Town, died suddenly on Tuesday night. He was 53. He died just hours after the Silkmen’s game at Notts County. Alexander, nicknamed Trio by the Barnet fans, played for the Bees between 1986 and 1988. He joined Barnet in the summer of 1986 from Kettering Town and formed one third of a strike force with Dave Sansom and Nicky Evans. Earlier in his career, Alexander had played for Worksop, Ilkeston Town, Spalding, Kings Lynn and Boston United and played at Wembley in 1980 for Stamford in the 1980 FA Vase final, scoring in their 2-0 win over Guisborough Town.

During Alexander’s time at Underhill, Bees’ manager, Barry Fry took the club to within touching distance of promotion to League Two as the Bees finished as Conference runners up to Scarborough in 1987 and Lincoln City in 1988. Fry’s frustration at twice just missing out on promotion lead to him dismantling the side and Alexander was one of a number of players to leave, joining Fourth Division side, Grimsby Town for £11,500 in the summer of 1988. Alexander scored 22 goals for Barnet in 86 matches including a hat trick against Sutton United in a 6-2 home win in December 1987.

In 1990, he helped the Mariners gain promotion to the Third Division as the club finished second in Division Four. He scored 26 goals in two seasons at Blundell Park before moving to Stockport County and subsequently to Lincoln City. At Sincil Bank, he had his first taste of management, but left after one season and joined Mansfield Town as youth team coach and also made three appearnces for the Stags. He then returned to management, back in non-league football with former club, Ilkeston Town and then also managed Northwich Victoria. In 2002, he returned to Lincoln City for his second spell as manager, where he again suffered the agonies of not quite making promotion as the Imps made the play-offs in four times in a row without actually getting promoted, despite reaching the play-off final in 2003 and 2005.

In 2006, he became the manager of Peterborough United and then had a spell at Bury as Director of Football before taking over as manager of Macclesfield Town in February 2008. In two years at Moss Rose, he produced wonders at the club to ensure that they maintained their League Two status despite the fact that the club had the lowest playing budget in the league.

Everyone at Barnet Mad sends their condolences to Keith’s family, something which, we’re sure is equally felt by all Barnet fans and send our most heartfelt sympathies to everyone at Macclesfield Town at this sad loss to football.