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Barrow
Club logo
Full name Barrow Association Football Club
Nickname(s) The Bluebirds, The Ziggers (pre-1970s)
Founded 1901
Ground Holker Street
Barrow-in-Furness
(Capacity: 4,256 [1])
Chairman England Brian Keen
Manager England David Bayliss and England Darren Sheridan
League Conference National
2008–09 Conference National, 20th
Home colours
Away colours

Barrow A.F.C. are a football team founded in 1901 based in the town of Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria, England. Following promotion at the end of the 2007–08 season, they currently play in the Conference National. The club spent over fifty years in the Football League between 1921 and 1972, and have since spent their time in the top two levels of non-league football.

The club colours are blue and white, though the combination of these has varied over time, leading to their nickname "The Bluebirds". Attendances at the club's Holker Street ground vary - the home record of 16,874 was set against Swansea City in the FA Cup Third Round in 1954 - but during the 1990s and 2000s the average remained consistently between 800 and 1,500. The 2007-08 average attendance was 1,084, which increased to an average of 1,590 by the end of the 2008-09 season.

Contents

History

Barrow AFC were founded on 16 July 1901 at the old Drill Hall (later the Palais) in the strand and played at The Strawberry Ground, Roosecote and Ainslie Street before moving to their current stadium, Holker Street, in 1909. After early years spent in the Lancashire Combination, the club became founder members of the Football League Third Division North in 1921.

Barrow remained in the lowest tier of the Football League for all but three seasons. During this time, they remained relatively obscure, only occasionally coming to national attention. Their third round FA Cup game against the then Football League champions Wolverhampton Wanderers in the 1958–59 season is particularly notable.

After finishing third in Division 4 in the 1966–67 season and gaining promotion, Barrow enjoyed their highest ever league finish in the 1967–68 season, ending up eighth in the Third Division, with the club briefly leading the table.

Barrow remained in the third flight of English football for another two season before returning to the basement in 1970. In 1972, Barrow were voted out of the Football League, in favour of Hereford United, and joined the Northern Premier League. They later became founder members of the Football Conference (then known as the Alliance Premier League), the only national division in non-league football. After this, Barrow spent periods of time in both the Football Conference and the Northern Premier League.

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The Wilkie years

Barrow's league position since their election to Division Three (North) in 1922

Ray Wilkie took the manager's job at Barrow part way through the 1985-86 season when the club were struggling near the foot of the Alliance Premier league. It was too late to save the team from relegation, but on Wilkie's appointment Barrow AFC embarked on their most successful period in non-league football.

Barrow eventually won promotion back to the re-named Vauxhall Conference in 1988-1989, finishing champions of the Northern Premier. Barrow achieved two respectable finishes in the Conference - 10th in 1989-1990 and 14th the season after. Unfortunately Wilkie was forced to step down during the 1991-1992 due to health problems. That season Barrow would be relegated back to the Northern Premier League.

As well as league success, Wilkie brought glory on the cup trail. In 1988, Barrow reached the FA Trophy semi-final, losing to Enfield after a replay. The first leg at Holker Street attracted 6,002 supporters – still a non-league record for the club. The season after, Barrow reached the 1st round of the FA Cup, losing out 3–1 at Rotherham's Millmoor. In early 1991, Barrow reached the third round of the FA Cup, losing 1–0 away to Third Division high fliers Bolton Wanderers, watched by thousands of travelling supporters.

In 1990, they won non-league football's most prestigious competition, the FA Trophy, beating Leek Town 3–0 in the final at Wembley Stadium, London. Scoring the first and third goals was Kenny Gordon, a player who was not normally found on the score sheet, and who was playing his final game for his hometown club before emigrating to Australia.

Wilkie's successes can partly be attributed to getting the best out of striker Colin Cowperthwaite, who had been at the club since 1977. He scored the second goal in the FA Trophy final, but Colin had already become a legendary player at Holker Street, finishing as top scorer in each of Wilkie's five full seasons - as well as seven of the previous eight. His goalscoring exploits were coupled with a no-nonsense approach to playing the game and "Cowps" became the quintissential target man. Colin is still highly regarded at Holker Street, winning a recent poll to find Barrow supporter's favourite player in the non-league era. Cowperthwaite holds Barrow's all-time appearance record (705) and is the club's all-time leading goalscorer (282)

Recent history

Following Wilkie's departure in 1991, the club again struggled in the Conference and were back in the Northern Premier League. Following three mediocre seasons, Barrow were purchased by Stephen Vaughan, a Scouse-boxing promoter and businessman. Vaughan poured money into the club, building an all-seater stand and allowing the club to sign players of Conference-standard. The Bluebirds achieved promotion from the Northern Premier League in 1997-98, under manager Owen Brown.

However, Vaughan, who had connections with gangster Curtis Warren, was soon being investigated for money laundering. Vaughan left the club at the end of 1998, withdrawing his financial support that had been keeping it afloat. It transpired that the club's main asset, its Holker Street ground, had been transferred to Vaughan's company Vaughan Promotions whilst he was chairman. In January 1999, the club were the subject of a compulsory winding up order and a liquidator was appointed to run the club whilst trying to establish who the legal owner of the ground was. A new members' company was formed with the aim of providing financial support to the club and with the long term intention of taking over the running of the football club. In the summer of 1999 the club were thrown out of the Football Conference. After a long dispute and thanks to the support of the Football Association, Barrow were allowed entrance into the Northern Premier League for the 1999–2000 season, almost a month after it had commenced. This reduced time in which to play their fixtures led to the scheduling of Barrow v Winsford United on 30 December 1999, recognised as the last professional or semi-professional game in the United Kingdom of the millennium (assuming the year 2000 is considered to be part of the third millennium AD). Barrow managed to survive in the Northern Premier League under manager Kenny Lowe, despite having to create an almost entirely new squad. The team improved over the following few years despite remaining in administration. They twice missed out narrowly on promotion back to the Conference, finishing second and third in the 2003–04 and 2004–05 seasons respectively. The legal disputes over the ownership of Holker Street were finally resolved in August 2002 and the new members company bought the Holker St Stadium from the liquidator. In 2003, the Football Association finally allowed the 'football membership' to be transferred to the new company.

In April 2004, Barrow defeated local rivals Workington in a two-legged final in the UniBond Presidents (League) Cup. The game finished 6–6 on aggregate, Barrow winning on away goals. Following their failure to gain promotion to the Conference in 2004–05, Barrow became founder members of yet another division, this time the Conference North, which replaced the Northern Premier League underneath the Conference National.

The following two seasons Barrow showed poor form in the league, narrowly escaping relegation at the end of 2006–07. Manager Lee Turnbull, who succeeded Lowe when the latter had to give up the job for work commitments, was sacked in 2005 and replaced by Phil Wilson. Compounding this was the jailing of defender James Cotterill for an assault committed on the pitch. In a first round FA Cup game Cotterill punched Bristol Rovers striker Sean Rigg, the incident being missed by the referee but caught by the Match of the Day cameras, resulting in Cotterill being the only English player in recent history to be jailed for an offence on the pitch.[2]

On 12 November 2007, after two years in the job, Phil Wilson was dismissed as manager. Although the sacking came two days after a good 1–1 draw in the FA Cup First Round against AFC Bournemouth, it was the club's continued poor league form which cost the manager his job. Barrow's first team affairs were shifted to players Paul Jones, David Bayliss and Darren Sheridan. Following a decent run of results, Bayliss and Sheridan were appointed as player-managers, whilst Jones became club captain. Bayliss and Sheridan led Barrow from 20th place in the league in December to fifth, ensuring a place in the play offs for promotion to the Conference National. Barrow won the semi-final against Telford United 4–0 on aggregate, before beating Stalybridge Celtic in the playoff final, held at the Pirelli Stadium, Burton upon Trent.[3]

After an initial strong start in the Conference National, which saw Barrow top the table during the first few weeks, the club began to struggle and found themselves just above the relegation zone by January 2009. Barrow had more success in the FA Cup, beating Brentford 2-1 with goals from David Brown and Matt Henney in Round Two, their first victory over Football League opposition since their own elimination from the league in 1972. In the third round they were drawn an away tie against Middlesbrough, a Premier League team,[4] losing 2–1, with more than 7,000 Barrow fans travelling to Boro's Riverside Stadium to watch the match. Barrow managed to retain their place in the Conference, finishing twentieth.

Having made several alterations to the squad during the summer, the club started its 2nd season in Blue Square Premier in August 2009. After a tough start, the club put together a good run, losing only once in 16 games, and reaching the FA Cup 3rd round, until they were beaten 3-0 by Premier League side Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on January 2, 2010.[5]

On February 13 2010, a mass brawl broke out on the pitch at the end of Barrow's home game against Kettering Town after a tackle from Kettering full-back James Jennings ended up putting Barrow striker Gregg Blundell in hospital. Players and Officials from both sides were both involved in the fracas, including Barrow's joint manager Dave Bayliss, and inquiries into the trouble are expected to follow.[6]

On March 13 2010, a Gregg Blundell goal gave Barrow a 1-0 win away at Salisbury City in the 1st Leg of the FA Trophy Semi Final.

Players

As of 21 January 2010.

Current squad

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 England GK Tim Deasy
2 Wales DF Simon Spender
3 Wales DF Paul Edwards
4 England DF Paul Jones (captain)
5 England DF Phil Bolland
6 England MF Robin Hulbert
7 England MF Andrew Bond
8 England MF Mark Boyd
9 England FW Jason Walker
10 England FW Lee McEvilly
11 England MF Carlos Logan
12 Wales DF Mike Pearson
14 England MF Darren Sheridan
No. Position Player
15 England MF Paul Rutherford
16 England DF Dave Bayliss
18 England DF Phil Morris
20 Wales DF Gareth Jelleyman
21 England GK Stuart Tomlinson
22 England FW Nick Chadwick
23 England FW Luke Powell
24 England MF Simon Wiles
26 England FW Gregg Blundell
England MF James Owen
England DF Paul Edwards
England MF Keyleden Brown

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player

Managers

As of 2 May 2009. Only league matches are counted.

Name Nat From To Record
P W D L F A Win %
Jacob Fletcher England July 1901 April 1904 78 33 15 30 146 135 42.31%
E. Freeland England April 1904 ???? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
W. Smith England ???? ???? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Alec Craig England ???? May 1907 ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Roger Charnley England May 1907 ???? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Jacob Fletcher England ???? September 1909 ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Jas P. Phillips England September 1909 July 1913 ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
John Parker England July 1913 July 1920 114 55 16 43 232 197 48.25%
William Dickinson England July 1920 May 1922 72 37 11 24 121 82 51.39%
Jimmy Atkinson England August 1922 March 1923 30 11 4 15 44 43 36.67%
J.E. Moralee England April 1923 January 1926 112 29 18 65 121 217 25.89%
Robert Greenhalgh England January 1926 February 1926 2 0 0 2 3 7 0%
William Dickinson England February 1926 October 1927 67 12 12 43 61 182 17.91%
John S. Maconnachie Scotland October 1927 December 1928 52 12 15 25 70 116 23.08%
Andrew Walker England January 1929 June 1930 62 16 7 39 74 142 25.81%
Thomas Miller England June 1930 November 1930 16 3 3 10 17 39 18.75%
John Commins England November 1930 May 1932 65 36 5 24 137 96 55.38%
Thomas Lowe England May 1932 April 1937 204 73 47 84 351 378 35.78%
James Y. Bissett England April 1937 December 1937 19 4 2 13 14 36 21.05%
Fred Pentland England January 1938 June 1940 84 29 23 32 146 149 34.52%
John Commins England August 1945 March 1947 54 17 10 27 71 104 31.48%
Andy Beattie Scotland March 1947 April 1949 95 36 26 33 106 95 37.89%
Jack Hacking England May 1949 May 1955 272 96 57 119 363 421 35.29%
Joe Harvey England July 1955 June 1957 92 33 18 41 137 145 35.87%
Norman Dodgin England July 1957 May 1958 46 13 15 18 66 74 28.26%
Bill Brown England July 1958 August 1959 46 9 10 27 51 104 19.57%
Bill Rogers England August 1959 October 1959 15 3 5 7 24 37 20%
Ron Staniforth England October 1959 July 1964 213 67 61 85 312 360 31.46%
Don McEvoy England July 1964 July 1967 138 52 32 54 207 235 37.68%
Colin Appleton England August 1967 January 1969 70 32 13 25 103 90 45.71%
Fred Else England January 1969 February 1969 5 0 1 4 2 14 0%
Norman Bodell England March 1969 February 1970 46 9 11 27 38 82 19.57%
Don McEvoy England February 1970 November 1971 78 15 18 45 88 142 19.23%
Bill Rogers England November 1971 November 1971 2 0 1 1 2 3 0%
Jack Crompton England December 1971 June 1972 28 10 5 13 25 40 35.71%
Peter Kane England July 1972 June 1974 92 25 13 54 98 195 27.17%
Brian Arrowsmith England July 1974 November 1975 67 12 18 37 61 115 17.91%
Ron Yeats Scotland December 1975 February 1977 46 15 8 23 61 90 32.61%
Alan Coglan and Billy McAdams England Northern Ireland February 1977 July 1977 21 5 3 13 26 38 23.81%
David Hughes England July 1977 July 1977 0 0 0 0 0 0 0%
Brian McManus England July 1977 November 1979 103 31 23 49 115 161 30.10%
Micky Taylor England November 1979 May 1983 147 52 35 60 192 206 35.37%
Vic Halom England July 1983 May 1984 42 29 10 3 92 38 69.05%
Peter McDonnell England July 1984 November 1984 17 5 9 3 27 21 29.41%
Joe Wojciechowicz England November 1984 December 1984 1 0 0 1 1 3 0%
Brian Kidd England December 1984 April 1985 19 5 6 8 14 20 26.32%
John Cooke England April 1985 April 1985 3 1 0 2 3 9 33.33%
Bob Murphy England April 1985 May 1985 2 0 1 1 2 4 0%
Maurice Whittle England May 1985 October 1985 12 0 4 8 11 29 0%
David Johnson England October 1985 March 1985 16 5 2 9 13 28 31.25%
Glenn Skivington and Neil McDonald England England March 1986 March 1986 4 0 0 4 4 10 0%
Ray Wilkie England March 1986 November 1991 236 93 62 81 325 311 39.41%
Neil McDonald England November 1991 December 1991 4 1 0 3 7 9 25%
John King England December 1991 May 1992 22 5 6 11 24 36 22.73%
Graham Heathcote England May 1992 December 1992 23 10 7 6 40 31 43.48%
Richard Dinnis England December 1992 October 1993 30 12 6 12 45 40 40%
Mick Cloudsdale England October 1993 June 1994 31 14 8 9 45 35 45.16%
Tony Hesketh England June 1994 March 1996 74 32 16 26 121 101 43.24%
Neil McDonald and Franny Ventre England England March 1996 March 1996 2 0 0 2 3 6 0%
Mike Walsh England March 1996 October 1996 20 11 5 4 32 20 55%
Owen Brown England October 1996 January 1999 100 49 22 29 127 95 49%
Shane Westley England January 1999 July 1999 16 4 4 8 13 22 25%
Greg Challender England July 1999 August 1999 0 0 0 0 0 0 0%
Kenny Lowe England August 1999 May 2003 176 78 46 52 307 233 44.32%
Lee Turnbull England May 2003 November 2005 102 41 28 33 164 146 40.20%
Darren Edmondson England November 2005 December 2005 3 1 2 0 5 3 33.33%
Phil Wilson England December 2005 November 2007 78 20 24 34 85 100 25.64%
Darren Sheridan and David Bayliss England England November 2007 Present 78 34 23 21 113 86 43.59%

Honours

1901-1920 (non league)

1921-1972 (Football League)

1972- (non league)

References

External links


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