Barker was born in Stoke on Trent in 1873. He grew up an avid Stoke City supporter, and became a referee for the Football League.
In 1908, Barker, together with a group of local wealthy supporters brought the club wih the aim of re-instating them back into the Football League. Barker was appointed Secretary-Manager. Despite numerous attempts in the non league divisions. Stoke failed to reach their target, and Baker left the club in 1914.