Holker Street Newsletter 242 - 21st December 1998

Three points from the game on Saturday means a welcome boost to Barrow’s struggle to avoid relegation, and such a victory against one of the teams hovering around the bottom of the League with Barrow is especially welcome. However, one point of concern to the writer is the attendance, just 1,176, well down on what the club needs through the gate to ensure its survival. What can the club do to entice the good people of Furness through the gate?


Barrow got a vital three points but as usual made us sweat. With Morton signing for Southport, and no news of Doncaster's Smith, Owen Brown had to shuffle the pack again. Surprisingly, Kielty, allegedly signed by Altrincham in mid-week, was named as a sub, so Barrow's Ministry of Misinformation is still doing well.

The first half was extremely forgettable with very little incident. At half time Marginson was brought on to replace and this injected more life into the game. The first goal came after 53 minutes, Coates getting on the end of a cross from Marginson to volley home from the edge of the box. Just after the hour, McCauley rose to head home a free kick, and Barrow appeared to be coasting. However, nothing is simple with the Bluebirds, and they allowed Forest Green back into the game with fifteen minutes to go through McGregor, the goal also coming from a free kick. The visitors piled on the pressure and hit the post with five minutes to go.


A brilliant second half display saw Barrow hang on for victory as Forest Green were unlucky with Alex Sykes hitting the woodwork twice in a grandstand finish. In an appalling first half Rovers got closest through the efforts of Paul Hunt, forcing Tony Parks into one great save. The second half was a total contrast with both sides showing more enthusiasm and skill. Interval substitute Carl Marginson had a hand in both Barrow goals. The first from Marc Coates from his cross and then McCauley getting a second when the keeper couldn't hold a free-kick. The Rovers goal was a replica of Barrow's second goal with the keeper parrying the ball out to MacGregor.

1-0 Barrow 53 mins Coates
Marginson crossed from the left and Mutch caused confusion in the goalmouth. The ball rebounded to Coates on the edge of the box and he steered it to the left of the keeper.

2-0 Barrow 62 mins McCauley
Marginson took a free-kick on the right and Shuttlewood, in trying to punch it clear, pushed it straight out to McCauley on the edge of the penalty box and he slotted it home into the bottom left corner.

2-1 Forest Green 70 mins MacGregor
A free-kick ten yards outside the box was hammered in by Drysdale. Parks could only push it into the path of MacGregor who tapped it home from a yard out.

Bookings: Barrow: Fensome (60), McCauley (86), Forest Green Rovers: Kilgour (73)
Sent Off. Barrow: None. Forest Green Rovers: None.
Referee: A. McGee (Liverpool )
Attendance: 1,176


Barrow - Forest Green Rovers...........................2:1
Cheltenham Town - Stevenage Borough....................3:0
Doncaster Rovers - Dover Athletic......................5:4
Hednesford Town - Welling United.......................3:2
Hereford United - Kettering Town.......................0:2
Leek Town - Kingstonian................................2:2
Morecambe - Hayes......................................2:3
Rushden & Diamonds - Farnborough Town..................1:0
Southport - Kidderminster Harriers.....................1:1
Woking - Northwich Victoria............................2:1
Yeovil Town - Telford United...........................4:0

P W D L F:A Pts
Kettering Town..............23 13 5 5 31:16 44
Cheltenham Town.............20 11 7 2 37:17 40
Rushden & Diamonds..........18 10 5 3 36:16 35
Stevenage Borough...........20 9 7 4 26:20 34
Yeovil Town.................20 8 8 4 29:22 32
Hednesford Town.............19 8 8 3 27:21 32
Hereford United.............21 9 5 7 26:22 32
Kingstonian.................19 8 7 4 29:25 31
Morecambe...................21 9 3 9 39:42 30
Hayes.......................19 9 2 8 23:27 29
Woking......................19 8 4 7 25:23 28
Northwich Victoria..........21 7 6 8 23:24 27
Kidderminster Harriers......19 7 4 8 29:23 25
Southport...................19 5 8 6 25:26 23
Dover Athletic..............19 5 8 6 20:23 23
Leek Town...................20 6 3 11 30:31 21
Barrow......................22 5 6 11 21:38 21
Telford United..............20 4 8 8 22:34 20
Forest Green Rovers.........20 4 7 9 23:29 19
Doncaster Rovers............20 4 5 11 22:31 17
Farnborough Town............20 4 5 11 21:40 17
Welling United..............21 2 9 10 19:33 15


Accrington Stanley - Frickley Athletic.................1:1
Bishop Auckland - Chorley..............................0:4
Colwyn Bay - Spennymoor United.........................1:3
Emley - Leigh RMI......................................0:2
Gainsborough Trinity - Altrincham......................0:3
Marine - Gateshead.....................................0:1
Runcorn - Blyth Spartans...............................1:0
Stalybridge Celtic - Lancaster City....................3:1
Whitby Town - Hyde United..............................2:3
Winsford United - Guiseley.............................0:1
Worksop Town - Bamber Bridge...........................1:1

P W D L F:A Pts
Worksop Town................21 11 4 6 29:24 37
Altrincham..................21 10 6 5 34:19 36
Guiseley....................18 11 2 5 31:20 35
Gateshead...................22 10 5 7 34:29 35
Bamber Bridge...............22 9 8 5 30:26 35
Winsford United.............21 9 6 6 31:24 33
Blyth Spartans..............23 10 3 10 29:31 33
Lancaster City..............19 9 5 5 28:22 32
Hyde United.................20 8 7 5 28:18 31
Gainsborough Trinity........22 9 4 9 31:28 31
Emley.......................19 8 6 5 25:21 30
Whitby Town.................20 7 8 5 36:30 29
Leigh RMI...................20 7 7 6 32:28 28
Bishop Auckland.............24 6 7 11 32:43 25
Marine......................23 5 9 9 30:38 24
Stalybridge Celtic..........20 6 5 9 30:32 23
Frickley Athletic...........18 5 8 5 22:24 23
Runcorn.....................18 5 8 5 18:21 23
Colwyn Bay..................21 6 4 11 25:35 22
Spennymoor United...........23 6 4 13 31:44 22
Chorley.....................22 3 9 10 25:39 18
Accrington Stanley..........21 4 5 12 21:36 17

By Nicholas Harling, The Telegraph, 21 December 1998

Motivation seemed to be in alarmingly short supply on Saturday among Stevenage players who had just seen their manager go, because he had apparently lost the ability to motivate them. Under Paul Fairclough, Stevenage had not lost a Conference game since October 10, until a 3-0 defeat at Cheltenham on Saturday seriously undermined their title hopes. The players looked as shell-shocked as Fairclough was when told last Thursday by the club's chairman, Victor Green, that he was out of a job. Fairclough's assistant, Noel Blackwell, seemed uncertain as to whether he had done the right thing by taking over as manager, albeit probably on a temporary basis. "I've got to think over my position," he admitted, clearly confused on the loyalty issue.

Utterly subdued, Stevenage were outplayed by hosts capitalising on the restoration of last season's prolific Jason Eaton-Dale Watkins pairing up front. It was when Watkins, starting for the first time this season after a groin operation, had a shot repelled by Chris Taylor that Eaton struck for the first time in the twenty-first minute. He added his second with a header from a cross by Watkins twelve minutes later. Watkins added the third from the penalty spot after Eaton was tripped by Robin Trott. Stevenage midfielder Robbie Reinelt added to his side's problems by his dismissal for his part in an off-the-ball fracas connected with the penalty award. After the game, 60 to 70 fans gathered in front of the main stand, singing Fairclough's praises and calling for the departure of Green. Though the deadline for Fairclough's decision on an offer of the post of director of football has been extended from today, he is unlikely to accept. Green, meanwhile, has intimated that he could sell Stevenage should a decent offer come along.

All of which is of little concern to Cheltenham, who departed in high spirits four points behind leaders Kettering with three games in hand. Goals by Lee Hudson and Mark Fisher earned Kettering an impressive 2-0 victory over Hereford.

The performance of the day, though, was Doncaster's. They came from 3-1 down to overcome Dover 5-4 and climb off the foot of the table. Dover's defeat was tough on Joff Vansittart, the scorer of a first-half hat-trick.

The bottom team are now Welling, whose 3-2 defeat at Hednesford was their tenth successive game without a victory. Looking anything but relegation material, Welling had taken a two-goal lead through Gavin Adams before Hednesford fought back with two goals just before half-time.


This is the final excerpt from the book, and deals with an alphabetical listing of personalities associated with the club during the period 1946 to 1990. So thanks to Peter Caldwell again for sending me the articles and I’m glad to write there will be another serialisation starting soon, but you’ll have to wait and see which book it is this time.

After Don McEvoy left to take over as manager at Grimsby Town the Barrow Board of Directors came up with the name of Colin Appleton to lead AFC. Transfer listed by his club, Charlton Athletic, and looking for an opportunity to break into management, Appleton was delighted to accept the job. During his reign Barrow topped the Third Division and enjoyed some of their best times of post-war years.

After coming through the ranks at Holker Street, Brian made his first team debut in October 1961 against Southport in the Lancashire Senior Cup. A midfielder, Brian clocked up 440 senior appearances during his ten year stay with the club, which included skippering the side out of the Fourth Division and into the Third during the club’s finest era. After leaving the club in 1971, Brian had a spell with Netherfield, but returned to Holker Street three years later to take up the player/manager position.

During the spring of 1947 Andy Beattie a former Scottish International was appointed manager at Holker Street. Beattie, who played full-back for Preston North End, went on to become one of Barrow’s most popular post-war managers. During Beattie’s two-year reign at Holker Street, the football witnessed was of a very high standard and included an enjoyable FA Cup run in the 1947-48 season. First Division Chelsea finally killed off Barrow in front of a massive crowd at Stamford Bridge. In April 1949 Beattie was approached by Stockport County and moved to Edgeley Park to take up the manager’s job.

Peter joined Barrow in 1967 after being released by Leicester City. During his time at Filbert Street Peter played regularly for the reserve team in the Football Combination. Peter never made the first team for a Football League game, but he did go on a continental tour and played for the first team in Germany After joining Barrow, Peter played regular Third Division football and made 51 appearances before leaving in 1968 for Stockport County

Glasgow born, Tom got his major breakthrough in football during his four year spell with Newcastle, where he played mainly reserve team football. In 1955 Tom as approached by the then Barrow manager Joe Harvey. After talks with the club he signed forms and went down in the Barrow record books as the first ever retained First Division player to join the club. During Tom’s 10-year stay with the club, in which he made over 300 appearances, he always kept a regular left back position.

Born in Drogheda, Southern Ireland, Kevin moved to Barrow while he was in his early 20s to take up employment at the shipyard. After a spell in local football with Barrow Celtic, Kevin attracted the attention of John Cummins (the Barrow manager at the time) who offered Kevin terms with the club. During Kevin’s two-year stay with the club he kept a regular forward position and scored many goals, including two against the legendary Frank Swift in the Third Round of the FA Cup.

Barrow born, Alan got his name in the history books after his first game for Barrow, when at only 16 years of age he became the youngest English keeper to play in a League match. During Alan’s 10-year stay with the club he never established himself as a regular first team keeper, but did play in several top matches. Alan left Holker Street in 1963 after a third break to his right leg, but he did return in the mid-seventies as coach while the club was under the management of Brian Arrowsmith.

Colin signed for Barrow in December 1977, along with his brother Brian. During his debut match against South Liverpool he scored two of Barrow's four goals in their 4-2 victory. During his stay with the club Colin has, so far, experienced many memorable moments, particularly the away game against Kettering Town in the 1979-80 season when he scored all four goals in the 4-0 victory the first coming after only 3.55 seconds. Besides having many personal triumphs with Barrow, including the Player of the Year award in the 1978-79 season, Colin has had several team triumphs including victories in the Lancashire Junior Cup, Cambrian Cup, NPL Charity Shield and two Northern Premier League Championship winners’ medals.

Jack found football fame as a keeper with Matt Busby’s post-war Manchester United. An FA Cup winners’ medal in 1948 and a League Championship medal were proof of his pedigree, but when Jack arrived at Holker Street in December 1971 he proved unable to perform the miracle Holker Street needed. When he arrived Barrow were in a desperate situation, but shrewd management enabled a few points to be collected and Jack was named as Manager of the Month for February The tide turned, however, and Barrow slid back towards the bottom of the table, culminating in that fateful June day when Barrow and Jack Crompton were left dumb-struck by being voted out of the Football League.

After leaving school Keith signed for Barrow, and by the time he was 17 he made his first team debut against derby rivals Workington. After spending four seasons at Holker Street and making over 100 senior appearances, Keith was signed by Ken Furphy, manager of Watford, for a fee in the region of £2,000. After a spell with Sheffield United Keith joined the top American club, New York Cosmos, where he was made club captain, playing in the same side as the legendary Pele and Franz Beckenbauer.

Before joining Barrow, Fred had a lengthy stay in the First Division, playing for both Preston North End and Blackburn Rovers. During his stay with these clubs he played alongside several internationals including Ronnie Clayton, Brian Douglas and Keith Newton. In 1961 Fred went on an English FA tour of the Far East, playing in such countries as Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia. At the start of the 1966-67 season Fred signed for Barrow, and after his first season he received the club's Player of the Year award. Fred stayed with the Holker Streeters until the end of the 1969-70 season when a serious leg infection halted his footballing days.

George signed for Barrow in March 1946, and shortly after his Holker Street arrival he was appointed club captain. During his five-year stay with the club, in which he played 189 senior games, he commanded a regular centre half position. George is remembered by older supporters as one of the club’s most consistent players of the 1940s.

Ian started his playing career with Grimsby Town, where he worked his way through the ranks up to their Reserves. In 1975 Ian moved to Barrow to take up a draughtsman's job at Vickers, and shortly after his arrival to the town he was at Holker Street playing reserve team football. After only one Reserve team game he found himself being selected for the first team, on a regular basis. Ian spent four seasons at Holker Street before having a spell at Netherfield, then teaming up with his former Barrow team-mate John Martin at Holker Old Boys.

Billy Gordon, a native of Carlisle, started his playing career with his home town club, where he stayed for two seasons before he moved to Holker Street in exchange for Alex McIntosh. Billy was always a prolific goalscorer during his football career and during his first spell at Holker Street (1949-57) he got his name into the Holker Street record books as he scored 168 goals, a record which lasted 28 years. Billy left Holker Street in 1958 and joined Workington, in part-exchange for their South African, Ted Purdon. This deal was regarded as the club’s worst post-war deal by many of the supporters, who were left ruing the departure of Gordon’s goal-poaching instincts up front. After just over a season with Workington, Billy returned to Holker Street but never returned to first team football; however he did encourage both Reserve and A team players in their game.

Kenny son of former top goalscorer Billy made an impressive debut in the 1978-79 season when he scored the winning goal against Burscough in the FA Trophy During Kenny's stay at Holker Street he regards the 1983-84 NPL winning season with Vic Halom as very enjoyable, although the events of 1990 paled everything else into insignificance. At the end of the 1984-85 season, Kenny had a Testimonial match against Manchester United after playing just under 300 games for Barrow.

Jack joined Barrow in 1949 as a secretary/manager, thus breaking a fourteen year link with Accrington Stanley. During the Hacking reign at Holker Street many 'legends' were signed, including Billy Gordon, Andy McLaren and Peter Wilson. Jack's Holker Street highlight came in 1954-55 when he watched his side beat Oldham Athletic 2-1 in the Final of the Lancashire Senior Cup. Shortly after this Cup glory Jack sadly suffered a heart attack which proved fatal.

Big Jack joined Barrow in 1948 from Preston North End and, until 1950, commanded a regular first team place and was a firm favourite with the crowd. After many good displays in the Barrow goal he attracted the attention of Aston Villa who offered Barrow a substantial fee for his signature. While at Villa, Jack started by playing reserve team football, but he eventually replaced their Welsh international keeper Keith Jones. After playing several months of senior football Jack was injured, following which he could not get back to the first team. With Jack desperate to play first team football, it was not long before he was back to Lancashire to join the Holker Streeters.

Jack, one of three brothers who played for the club, joined Barrow in 1947 playing reserve team football. In the 1947-48 season he made his first team debut against Oldham. Jack stayed twelve seasons at Holker Street playing 350 first and reserve team games, which included three Finals (one LJC and two LSC), and captaining Barrow against Wolverhampton Wanderers. Jack’s best memory while playing in a Barrow shirt came in the 1953-54 season when he and his two brothers, Bert and Alan, made their way into the history books by playing together for Barrow against Port Vale.

As a young man Brian Kidd had achieved more by the age of 19 than most players would accomplish in a lifetime in the game. Following his Schoolboy International honours and his goal which helped Manchester United become the first English club to win the European Champions Cup, Kidd moved on and had spells at Arsenal, Manchester City, Everton and Bolton. Following the surprise resignation of Peter McDonnell, Brian took over as manager at Holker Street in December 1985. However, success was not forthcoming and, following a string of bad results and a virtual procession of players in and out, Barrow slid to a lowly League position and Kidd moved out of the Holker Street hot-seat and into a job at Preston North End.

Dave signed for Barrow at the start of the 19 74-75 season, after having a spell in local football with Cellophane and SDO. Shortly after signing for the club Dave was occupying a regular defensive position, and after only his second season he received the club's Player of the Year award. In 1984, after being at Holker Street for ten seasons, Dave had a joint Testimonial with former Holker Street keeper Kevin Thomas, against Manchester United. Dave says one of his most memorable moments in football came in a friendly game when Barrow played Manchester City when he recalls marking the then million pound striker Kevin Reeves.

A native of Belfast, Billy began his career with Distillery in the Irish League. ln 1953 Manchester City paid £10,000 for his talents and he stayed at Maine Road until 1959, before having spells with Bolton, Leeds, Brentford and Queens Park Rangers. Bill played fifteen internationals for Northern Ireland and scored over 150 goals in the Football League. He eventually moved back North to join Barrow where he finished his professional career.

Neil first signed for the Holker Streeters back in 1972 when the club was under the management of Peter Kane. He kept a regular midfield, then forward's role with the club until the latter half of the 1976-77 season, when he joined Workington. After spending two seasons with Workington, Neil returned to Holker Street and played for Barrow in their opening two seasons of the APL before rejoining Workington for his second spell. When Maurice Whittle took over the management position in 1985 Neil returned to the club to take charge of the reserves, but for two seasons he played regular first team football.

After starting at Preston North End, where he was limited to Central League football, Mick moved to Lancaster City where he performed consistently well at full-back. After five years at Giant Axe, Mick moved to Holker Street for a fee believed to be in the region of UKP2000. Mick made over 200 appearances for Barrow and was named as Player of the Year after his first full season, before eventually moving on to spells at Southport and Chorley before a brief second stint at Holker Street.

Born at Whitburn near Sunderland, Dickie signed for Middlesbrough shortly after the war, staying for 15 seasons and making 386 first team appearances. During his spell with Middlesbrough he played for the Football League in seven representative games, collected a 'B' cap against Switzerland, and got within 30 minutes of a full cap. Dickie was all set to deputise for Neil Franklin, but the Stoke defender was declared fit just half an hour before kick off. Dickie joined Barrow in 1959, and for four seasons played at either right or left back, centre or wing half, clocking up another 152 senior appearances. After being put out of action by a back injury Dickie retired, but after a year out of the game returned as first-team trainer at Holker Street.

Glenn joined the Holker Streeters when under the management of Micky Taylor, and after a couple of months in the reserves he was holding a regular defensive position in the first team. After many promising displays in the first team, Glenn was attracting the attention of several League clubs. In July 1979, Glenn signed for Derby County for a club record of around UKP20,000. When moving to Derby, Glenn was still only 18 and, after several months in the reserves, he made his first team debut against Grimsby. After spending several seasons with Derby, Glenn had spells with Halifax and Southend before re-joining Barrow.

Several seasons of amateur football led to a professional career in 1946 with Stockport County. Ron played some of his best football at Stockport and was selected for the 1950 World Cup tournament in Brazil. Ron became a regular in the England set-up during his spells with Huddersfield and Sheffield Wednesday, and arrived at Holker Street in October 1959. Barrow had two enjoyable seasons under Staniforth, finishing ninth in both 1961-62 and 1962-63. Ron parted company with the club after a disappointing 1963-64 season in which Barrow found themselves holding up the rest of the Fourth Division.

Before joining Barrow AFC Barry played for Vickers in the West Lancashire League, and during his spell with this club he gained a Richardson Cup winners’ medal, and Lancashire Amateur Shield medal. At the start of the 1972-73 season Peter Kane invited Barry down to Holker Street, and it was not long before he agreed terms with the club and was holding a regular full back position. During Barry’s stay at Holker Street he regards the First Round FA Cup game against Goole Town in the 1976-77 season as his highlight.

Kevin's career began at Bloomfield Road where he stayed for five seasons, making 16 first team appearances. After leaving Blackpool Kevin had spells with Tranmere, Oxford, Kettering and Southport. After recovering from a 14-month lay off due to a knee injury he was approached by Brian McManus, which resulted in Kevin signing for Barrow. During his seven seasons with the club, in which he played over 300 games, Kevin had the nick-name of the 'Jolly Juggler' due to him juggling with the ball in his area before an opposing player took it off him and scored. Seriously though, Kevin was a loyal servant to the Holker Street club and fully deserved his 1984 testimonial match.

Peter joined Barrow in 1951 at the same time as Andy McLaren and Billy Hannah came to the club. The players were signed in a bid to pull the club out of the relegation zone of the Third Division North. Peter stayed nine seasons at Holker Street and, in that time, played over 300 senior games, including many battling Cup ties. When asked which game he most enjoyed, being a true Welshman he said Barrow v Wrexham. Unfortunately, Peter died in the summer of 1987, although his family should be comforted by the thought of Peter being fondly remembered whenever 50s football at Holker Street is talked about.

Ron Yeats arrived as player/manager in December 1975 after a career in top-class football, during which he led Liverpool to an FA Cup Final victory and made numerous appearances for Scotland. Big Ron, who the legendary Bill Shankly once described as a colossus, brought with him the equally famous Tony Hateley as his number two. Great things were expected of Yeats, but success was not forthcoming and, after just over twelve months in charge, Yeats resigned with Barrow still in the lower reaches of the NPL.

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