After spells at Hillingdon Borough and hometown club Bedford Town, in 1979 Fry became Barnet manager for the first of two management spells covering almost thirteen seasons. In his first spell, Barnet maintained a mid-table position in the Alliance League for six seasons before Fry left in December 1985 to manage Maidstone United. He returned to Barnet in August 1986 for a further seven seasons. Three times runners-up in the GM Vauxhall Conference, Fry achieved his first managerial success as Champions in 1990–91. Two years later he guided them towards the new Division Two (leaving two months before the end of the season to manage Southend) despite being sacked eight times and reinstated each time by controversial chairman Stan Flashman, as well as being in charge of a club which was in a precarious financial state and under threat of expulsion from the Football League.
Fry moved to Southend United in 1993 with the club bottom of Division One. Fry kept Southend up, but later in the year moved to Birmingham City. Though Birmingham were relegated in his first season, he won the Division Two championship in 1995 and also reached the finals of the Football League Trophy. During the 1995–96 season, Fry guided the Blues to the semi-finals of the League Cup but was sacked after their mid-season promotion hopes faded and the club finished 15th in Division One.
Just after leaving Birmingham, Fry became chairman-manager of Peterborough United. They were relegated to Division Three in his first season at the helm but they regained their Division Two status three years later. Fry's nine-year reign as manager came to an end in May 2005 after they were relegated again, after which time he took up a role as director of football. Fry remained as chairman until September 2006 when Darragh MacAnthony succeeded him.
Fry was often renowned for his attacking brand of football, although his tactics often meant his teams conceded as many goals as they scored.
Fry still occasionally takes charge of both legend and pro-celebrity teams whenever Birmingham City hold either testimonial or fund raising games at their home ground, St Andrews.
Football: FACE to FACE - BARRY FRY, If We Went under I Imagine I Would Lose My House. and My Missus. and My Four Kids !
Feb 15, 2004; Byline: GRAHAM HILL Ex-Blues boss Barry Fry explains to GRAHAM HILL why he has had to curtail his wheeler-dealer image since...