Holker Street Newsletter 775 - 12th March 2001

This is Monday’s edition of the Newsletter, yes, I know it is a little late, it’s just one of those things, Barrow beat Leek Town 3-0 at the weekend, and now face Colwyn Bay on Tuesday. I’ve spent a bit of time and effort on comments relating to Mr Vaughan’s announcement, if you have any comments on the matter, email me on .


I like this headline, but I don’t know if it is raining in Barrow, or Droylsden for that matter, perhaps it is overcast in both areas of north-west England, needless to say it is lovely and hot here in New Zealand.

So, Mr Vaughan has now decided that he would rather be the chairman of Droylsden, and not Barrow, or has he? I believe the UniBond League rules specifically prohibit an individual being involved with more than one club in the same League, the rules for the Premier League and the Football League are quite specific, you can’t, so I think we can safely assume that the UniBond League’s rules will stop Mr Vaughan from doing so. So that makes it simple doesn’t it. Mr Vaughan cannot be involved with both Barrow and Droylsden, he has to give one up. But hasn’t he already? Yes, I think he has. I believe Mr Vaughan has relinquished any ownership of Barrow AFC and Holker Street, after all he did sell the club, or says he sold the club, to James Oliver, a business acquaintance in Liverpool. Some time I questioned whether this chap Oliver existed, but he does, I have been assured of this, not through Mr Vaughan or his associates but others, so that clears that up doesn’t it? Well, no, there are more question marks hanging over the sale of Holker Street than you would find in a Agatha Christie novel, and it is these very same questions and others, far too difficult to go into here, that are being debated and contested by the courts. So it’s not clear after all, is it?

What do we have at the moment? Mr Vaughan has bought an interest in Droylsden, although in the style of a pantomime at the Blackpool Winter Gardens, it has degenerated into a oh yes he has, oh no he hasn’t scenario. Or did it? The query seemed to centre on whether Mr Vaughan had taken over the club, or was an equal partner, but by the end of the weekend, everything was tea and scones, and the duo of Vaughan and Pace are ready to saddle up and lead Droylsden into the Football League, but first they will sort out this season’s problems and save Droylsden from relegation. We wish them both well.

Back to Barrow, this was always Mr Vaughan’s hope and dream when he arrived at Holker Street, and for whatever reason, it didn’t work out, and we are left with a club in a very precarious position, finely balanced on the financial tightrope that is football in the brave new world, but I feel it is worth pointing out that Barrow were in a worse position financially after Mr Vaughan left the club than when he arrived on his white charger, well, probably a BMW, all those years ago. So is Mr Vaughan buying some Droylsden shares and a new scarf good news for Barrow?

This depends upon your perspective, and I have to be honest here, I think it is in the long term interest of Barrow AFC if Mr Vaughan cuts his ties with Barrow AFC and if he still wishes to try to complete his ambition of bringing a club from the non-League football into the Football League, then Droylsden should be given every chance of attaining that dream with him in control.

At this point I am reminded of the Hitch Hiker’s Guide To The Universe (ask your dad), and the wonderful line, “Goodbye and thanks for all the fish”, I’m unsure to be honest who is the dolphin in this case, but I trust there we’ll be no inter-galactic motorway constructed at either Holker Street or the Butchers Arms in the near future.

So back to Barrow AFC, let’s consider the story in the Evening Mail which appeared on the Thursday evening, the article says a couple of things which I have reservations over:

“In becoming chairman at Droylsden, Vaughan has ruled himself out of any immediate return to Barrow AFC but maintains he will still try to buy back the ground when the club’s financial position with the liquidator has been settled.”
No, I believe it not possible for one man to be involved with two clubs, either Droylsden or Barrow, end of story, and the Mail should, perhaps, have pressed him on this.

“Vaughan, also a major creditor of the club, said: "I have had the stadium valued and am prepared to offer UKP315,000 and lease it to whoever is running the club."”
Is he now? Has he supplied the evidence the liquidator required? Ok, he has, so what is he owed the money for?

Now here comes the difficult part for me to write, I believe that over the last couple of years, the Evening Mail’s coverage of Mr Vaughan and Barrow AFC has not been as objective as it should have been, regular readers of the Newsletter and the Mail will know exactly what I mean, and I know there are a number of journalists from the Mail who receive this Newsletter, but I do believe it needs to be said. This Newsletter is independent of the club, the National Supporters’ Club and everyone else, it is my baby, but I do try to get things right, sometimes I make a mistake, and if so, I correct it. I do try to offer a fair balance, and there have been many times when I have said things that are at odds with what others have, after all I have even been accused of being too soft on Mr Vaughan in the past, be that as it may. Although if I was running a piece on this matter, and bear in mind I was told the information at the start of the week, but didn’t run anything because I knew the Mail was going to break it as an exclusive, and I didn’t want to steal their thunder, I would have asked Mr Vaughan for an awful lot more information that what was available in the Mail on Thursday night.

Such as:
How can you be involved with two clubs in the same League at once?

Why Droylsden?

What happened to the Barrow team you were going to set up when it was obvious you weren’t going to welcomed back at Holker Street? This was an article in the Mail some months ago.

Is James Oliver going to be involved with Droylsden?

What is your understanding of the latest developments in the court case?

What are your plans for the Bluebird Club in Barrow?

Do you regret being involved with Barrow AFC?

Why did it go wrong?

Now I know the Mail have a responsibility to report the news, but they also have a duty to the people of Barrow-in-Furness, and whilst Gallup haven’t conducted any market research on the matter, I think I would be safe to say that the majority people of the people in the town would prefer it if Mr Vaughan had nothing more to do with the club. As such, I believe the Evening Mail has a duty to examine every proposal that Mr Vaughan presents and assess its implications on the town’s football club, and if that means being somewhat critical, even sceptical, then so be it, and whilst I don’t expect Jeremy Paxman to come to Abbey Road on secondment, I would have hoped for a little more in the tough questioning bracket.

So back to the original Mail article, it appears that Mr Vaughan may be going to do a deal with the liquidator over the ground (Holker Street). Is he? Are you sure? I would be surprised at this on a number of points, and I do stand to be corrected on this, but it should be pointed out that the aforementioned Mr Vaughan is only an ordinary creditor and not the owner, I believe I am correct in saying that Mr Vaughan has relinquished any ownership claims over Holker Street, so any deal he is going to make would have to be done on the amount he believes he is owned, and that is just where I believe the Mail should have tied Mr Vaughan down, and asked for more details. But perhaps I am being naive.

It could also be argued that, from the perspective of those now involved with the Barrow AFC, let’s call them the People’s Choice, what a nice ring that has to it, and this is my opinion and no-one else’s, that it could well remove any suggestion that Mr Vaughan can come back to Holker Street.

It should also be reminded that the new duo of Vaughan and Pace have announced that Barrow AFC manager, Owen Brown will be appointed as coach of Droylsden, and remember this comes after a denial that Owen Brown was still involved with Vaughan. This may well be the case, Mr Brown has been linked with Altrincham in the past, and tales are now emerging of how Mr Vaughan had tried to become involved with this club, which, for whatever reason, didn’t reach fruition. Now we have both turning up at Droylsden, I don’t think there is anything sinister in this, it’s just one of those things.

I know Owen Brown didn’t leave Barrow flavour of the month, but remember what he did achieve at Holker Street, yes, I know the cost was almost the death of the club we love, but he did manage it, for a while, and whilst he was doing so, he was popular, but eventually it all caught up with Mr Vaughan and Mr Brown. You should also remember how Mr Vaughan seemed to delight in the attention Barrow AFC gave him, perhaps even the credibility, and how he seemed to be going above Mr Brown’s head, or was it behind his back, when it came to player selection and comments to the media. If Brown were to make a success at Droylsden, I would assume some of this would have to change, wouldn’t it?

There is one more equation in all this, don’t forget when Knowsley United went under a few years ago, there were a number of players and officials from the Merseyside club who joined up with Droylsden, the recently departed Droylsden assistant manager, Pedro Orr, being a case in point. I don’t think there is any hidden meaning in this, but it’s worth pointing out the connection.

Having said all this, I would like again to offer the hand of friendship again to Mr Vaughan, you may well deem that some of the above is none too complimentary, perhaps some is untrue, perhaps even malicious, which I don’t believe it is, after all, I believe I’ve tried to express my opinions, both today and in the past, in a way that are honest and fair, if you feel this isn’t the case, please contact me, my email is .

So, we shall wait and see how this story develops, and perhaps if there is one good thing to come from all of this, we don’t have to play Droylsden again this season, that would have been interesting, but assuming Droylsden avoid the drop this season, and we hope they do, then that will change next season.

Finally, the last edition of the Newsletter mentioned about Mr Vaughan getting back into the boxing promotion business, this isn’t quite right, it appears that Mr Vaughan has joined up with another person to develop this business, after all this is where his experience and background is, and I assume how he has made a fair proportion of his money, but I believe Mr Vaughan has not yet been granted his boxing licence, whether this means his original licence ran out or was rescinded, I don’t know, but if you can confirm either way, I would like to hear, my email is .

Thanks to Peter Caldwell, Geoff Northin, Richard Ingham, Russell Dodd, Graham Murphy, John Little, A Quiet Man, Scott Leslie, Martin Leslie, Chris Darnell, Justine Lee, Flag Man, Phil Yelland and Terry Kendall for their help with today’s edition.

This appeared on the Barrow AFC fans’ forum in connection with Stephen Vaughan and Droylsden.

I live near Droylsden and follow the fortunes of the club and it has always been the plan of Dave Pace to get the club into the Conference. The pitch is being shifted down so that a stand can be built at both ends of the ground as it is only enclosed by houses on one end. I have just read an article in tonight’s Manchester Evening News on Stephen Vaughan. It reads as follows:

Droylsden chief Dave Pace has dismissed talk he’s about to make way for controversial Steven Vaughan the ex Barrow chairman. Vaughan is said to have told friends he's done a deal which will see him take over from Pace as Bloods chairman with the outspoken Denton entrepreneur becoming commercial director. The former Barrow supremo is also believed to have declared his intention to replace Pace as manager with his ex Holker Street boss Owen Brown. Pace admits he has talked to Vaughan with a view to him putting money into Droylsden and becoming a director but he says all suggestions he is about to relinquish control are just total garbage. He stormed “Steven is interested in joining us and I have talked to him about it but he's getting carried away with himself if he thinks he's going to take over from me as chairman. He'd have to offer me an absolute fortune before I'd even think of standing down and so far I haven't seen a penny."

Then this appeared:

Droylsden chief gets help at helm.
By Tony Glennon

Droylsden chief Dave Pace has stunned semi-pro soccer by agreeing to take controversial ex-Barrow chairman Stephen Vaughan on board as a director, and joining Vaughan at the Butcher's Arms will be his old Bluebirds boss and former Altrincham coach, Owen Brown. Pace shook hands on the deal with Vaughan just hours after dismissing speculation that the Liverpool-based nightclub owner and boxing promoter was about to replace him as Bloods' chairman. The agreement they have reached will, says Pace, see him remaining in the chair, with Vaughan - who was said to be interested in joining Altrincham last season but still has a substantial stake in Barrow - working under him. Brown, meanwhile, will step in to work alongside Pace in his other role as Droylsden's manager until the end of the season. After that, Pace will relinquish his managerial duties, leaving Brown - who in his playing days had a spell with his Bloods' Tameside neighbours Hyde - in full control of team affairs. Making way for Brown in the meantime is Droylsden's coach, former Alty manager Paul Rowlands, who has been axed. Pace, who owns Droylsden and estimates he has spent more than UKP1M on the club in his nine years alone at the helm, admits it was a "huge decision" for him to agree to give up his status as the Bloods sole director. But the Denton entrepreneur says he has done it to take Droylsden forward and predicts that, with Vaughan's financial clout and to add to his own, the Bloods can not only look forward to rising to the Nationwide Conference but also be knocking on the door of the Football League within the next three years. Pace told the Pink: "I'm bringing Stephen in because I feel that between him, Owen and myself, we can turn Droylsden into another Macclesfield Town - and even go beyond them. Stephen and Owen took Barrow into the Conference, but I've got bigger plans for Droylsden. And I feel that, with them on board, we've got a far better chance of achieving them. The last thing I want for Droylsden to become is another Marine, a club that couldn't go up even if we were to win the UniBond League. I've spent a fortune here, but I haven't got endless resources. With Stephen's backing we can raise the UKP500,000 we need to bring the ground up to Conference standard as soon as possible. Hopefully we will be pushing hard for promotion by this time next year." Pace, who along with his family owns around four-fifths of Droylsden's shares, is adamant that he remains the boss at the Butcher's Arms and scoffs at any suggestion that Vaughan has forced his hand into making way for Brown. He added : "No way has Stephen railroaded me into appointing Owen. And neither am I giving up my complete control of the club. The day I do that is the day I'm six foot under." Brown's first task will be to help Pace steer Droylsden away from the drop zone in the UniBond Premier Division. Tuesday's 2-0 home defeat by Runcorn left the Bloods with just two points to show from their last six games, a run which has sent them into freefall. Backed by Vaughan's injection of cash, Brown will now be working overtime to bolster Droylsden's squad prior to the transfer deadline looming at the end of March.

Evening Mail, Friday 9 March

Barrow AFC’s top scorer Nicky Peverell may be rested for tomorrow’s clash at Holker Street with Leek Town. The 27-goal striker scored in last week’s 4-2 Quarter-Final win over League leaders Emley in the Chairman’s Cup at home, but Barrow manager Kenny Lowe is considering leaving him on the bench for the match with the UniBond Premier League strugglers. Lowe feels his first choice forward is suffering from the effects of a long season, so now that he has four strikers to choose from he is able to rest Peverell. He also said: "Nick has missed a few games and a few training sessions because of work commitments so it maybe that we take him out of the firing line. He’s missed the odd mid-week game here and there and I just felt he was a bit sluggish last week." Grant Holt, the on-loan striker from Halifax Town, Darren Roberts and Gareth Jones are all vying for a place in Lowe’s starting line-up. The manager added: "I can’t see the team being much different from the other weekend. Gareth Jones is available because Dalton haven’t got a game. I’ll maybe start with Gareth on the bench and Grant and Darren Roberts up front, but we’ll see how he’s feeling because, at the end of the day, it’s down to Nick." The good news is Steve Housham should be fit to take his place in the centre of midfield after limping out of last week’s action just 26 minutes into the game. Lowe has only just decided to start playing the former Scunthorpe United player in the centre and his absence would have been seen as a big blow, but Lowe said: "He’s okay. It was his groin. He just over stretched for the ball. I think if he had stayed on for another 10 or 15 minutes it would have been all right, but we didn’t want to take that chance." Jason Ainsley may also return after a lay-off due to injury and illness, while Lee Ellison could begin his return to fitness with a workout at Holker Street before tomorrow’s game. Ellison pulled his hamstring back in December during Barrow’s 4-1 defeat at home to Bishop Auckland and he has not featured since. Lowe said: "We hope he will be okay this week or maybe next week. He will put him through a session this weekend and if he comes through all right we will look to loan him out to another club for a bit."

Barrow: Bishop, Rogers, Warren, Hume, Hall, Maxfield, Doherty, Bullimore, Anthony, Ainsley, Jenkinson, Peverell, Roberts, Gill, Hill, McKechnie, Holt, Jones.
Leek Town: Bentley. Sanderman, McDermott, Beeby Hawtin, Rose, Doherty, Hobby Poland, Bott, Callan, Macpherson Williams, Woodray.

Evening Mail, Friday 9 March

Barrow AFC could be playing in a black and white striped kit next season. The club are considering scrapping their usual blue and white colours as a one off to celebrate Barrow’s centenary year. When the club first formed, their original jersey was black and white and the proposed change is all part of Barrow’s plans to mark the 100th anniversary. Bluebirds chairman Brian Keen said last night: "It’s the centenary year coming up and we have got one or two ideas of how to celebrate, and the original Barrow AFC kit was black and white so we’re thinking, for one season only, of having one." Keen and the rest of the Barrow board have already seen samples of the kit, but a final decision has yet to be made. He added: "I think it will reflect the 100 year history of the club. It will stand out and it will make the 100th year a little bit different." The club are planning a series of events to make their anniversary as memorable as possible and ideas already in the melting pot include special trips, commemorative matches and more involvement with schools. Keen said: "We are just trying to excite the club with new ideas, new PR and also get the kids more involved."

Why not email us with your thoughts on Barrow’s proposed kit change at .

Barrow 3 Leek Town 0, Blyth Spartans 2 Colwyn Bay 1, Droylsden 1 Burscough 2, Frickley Athletic 0 Stalybridge Celtic 0, Gateshead 0 Accrington Stanley 0, Hucknall Town 1 Marine 1, Hyde United 0 Gainsborough Trinity 1, Lancaster City 3 Whitby Town 1, Runcorn 4 Bishop Auckland 4, Spennymoor United 1 Bamber Bridge 2.

P W D L F-A Pts
Emley.....................32 23 6 3 65-29 75
Stalybridge Celtic........30 21 8 1 67-20 71
Bishop Auckland...........29 17 5 7 59-39 56
Lancaster City............30 16 7 7 64-49 55
Altrincham................34 14 8 12 60-47 50
Worksop Town..............27 13 8 6 74-45 47
Accrington Stanley........33 13 8 12 52-48 47
Gainsborough Trinity......33 12 9 12 37-43 45
Barrow....................31 12 8 11 52-48 44
Hucknall Town.............29 12 8 9 36-33 44
Bamber Bridge.............31 12 6 13 44-48 42
Gateshead.................28 11 6 11 50-41 39
Burscough.................27 11 6 10 45-45 39
Runcorn...................29 11 6 12 42-49 39
Whitby Town...............31 11 6 14 45-56 39
Hyde United...............29 10 7 12 53-51 37
Droylsden.................31 10 4 17 36-54 34
Blyth Spartans............30 9 6 15 36-43 33
Marine....................31 8 9 14 40-55 33
Leek Town.................31 8 7 16 29-44 31
Frickley Athletic.........33 6 11 16 39-66 29
Colwyn Bay................28 6 8 14 40-62 26
Spennymoor United.........29 2 3 24 24-74 9

Barrow 3 Leek Town 0, from Phil Yelland

A scrappy gamer by all accounts with Leek having a player sent off in the opening half. Two goals from Nicky Peverell (now 29 for the season) and one late on from substitute Gareth Jones stopped a run of three defeats by the Staffordshire side. Neil Doherty limped off at half time to be replaced by Anth Hall whilst Darren Roberts replaced Pev and Jones replaced Holt. There was just one Barrow player booked, Mark Hume.

The team was: Bishop; Rogers, Hume, Warren; Doherty, Anthony, Bullimore, Housham, Maxfield; Peverell, Holt. Subs: Hall for Doherty 45 mins; Roberts for Peverell; Jones for Holt.

The attendance was a highly encouraging 996, it would be nice to think that we can keep it at that level at least in mid-week. We have drawn Chorley at Victory Park in the Chairman's Cup and it could take place on the 20th. Former Barrow player, Greg Challender now plays for Chorley.

Barrow 3-0 Leek Town

Barrow comfortably won today’s game against the worst team I've seen at Holker Street for ages. Leek started better though and a poor Michael Woodray free kick went straight into the wall. Barrow cleared but lost it and Leek attacked again. Then Colin Rose blasted it well wide. In the thirteenth minute there was some action. Lee Rogers was tackled by Colin Rose and I think he was then punched by Colin Rose, the Leek number 6. After the ref talked to Rose it looked like Barrow would be awarded a free kick, but the ref showed Rose a red card which surprised the crowd. Not many people saw Rose punch or elbow Rogers.

In the 21st minute a Doherty cross was well controlled by Pev and he took it past Matt Beeby and as it looked as if it was too late to shoot, he scored with a weak left foot shot past Scott Bentley from about twelve yards. From where I stood I thought the keeper should have done better and Wayne McDermott on the line shouldn't have let it go under his foot. It was then only a matter of time before Barrow scored again and after a few half chances Holt crossed from the right and McDermott and the keeper Bentley let it go across the goal and Peverell thumped it in from six yards even though Bentley got a hand to it.

In the second half it was mainly Leek for the first 15 minutes and Barrow only had two chances. Matt Beeby shot over the bar roof when he had plenty of time. Then Dave Whittaker blasted well wide from a tight angle on the left. Barrow brought on Tony Hall for Docherty, Roberts for Peverell and Gareth Jones for Grant Holt. Bishop then made a good low save from a hard Aidan Callan free kick from 20 yards. There were a few more chances to score but Jones sliced one and Roberts chip was straight at Scott Bentley. In the 85th minute Roberts was through against Scott Bentley and he passed out to Jones who couldn't miss the open goal from eight yards. Then Jones took it past Bentley but the keeper managed to block Jones’ strike from an angle. It fell to Hume but he sliced it high and wide. Right at the end Roberts low weak shot went past Bentley and just over the line even though Brad Sandeman did his best to keep it out. No goal was given by the referee and the whistle went. Barrow would have won even if Leek Town hadn't had Colin Rose sent off early. They always struggled to pass it out of their half. They could only ever keep the ball for a few seconds before Barrow got it back. They were never hard opponents and Barrow made the Leek defence look fools passing it past them easily and it was an easy win against Leek who will probably go down with Spennymoor. One final point I feel it would be worth pointing out, if Darren Roberts hadn't passed to Gareth Jones for the third goal, Roberts could have scored, and bearing in mind Roberts is being paid on a per goal basis, this really was a very kind thing to do.

Today’s crowd was very good, nearly a thousand hopefully it will be like this more often now Barrow are playing better.

My man of the match: The whole team played well but Bullimore, Anthony and Maxfield were the best.

From Graham Murphy

It could have been five or even six. No, make that should have been. Because this was a game that we dominated from start to finish. Well, when the opposition has a player sent off in the opening quarter of an hour that's how it ought to be, though with Barrow you never can tell. But there was to be no mistake and with a score that reminded me of something else, we secured only our third win in the twelve League games we've played this year.

The opening exchanges were pretty anonymous and when the ref gave Barrow a free kick on the halfway line our little group was busy debating the merits of Eminem and the morals of today's youth. I heard someone mention something about a red card and he wasn't wrong. When I looked back at the pitch the ref was showing his favourite colour to Leek's unfortunate no 6, Rose. What had he done? There was no obvious misdemeanour. The Popular Side weren't baying for his blood. So what was going on? It turned out that he'd kicked Rogers in an off the ball incident, but the sending off seemed a very harsh decision.

It took Rose a while to leave the pitch and his colleagues even longer to stop their protests. Five minutes later Maxfield released Doherty on the left who played a neat one two with Holt as he moved inside. Leek managed to knock the ball off Doc's toe but only back to Holt who's cross found Peverell on the far side. The goalie almost managed to stop the shot but the ball trickled over the line to put Barrow one ahead. Barrow didn't have it all their own way as Bishop was called upon to make several fine saves, most notably from Horton, but Warren and Housham had shots saved whilst Peverell headed wide. Just before the break, Peverell made it 2-0 from another Holt cross.

But in the second half, although Jones made it 3-0 after he came on for Holt with 20 mins to go, I'm afraid the same old faults were evident. Now I know this will sound like carping and criticism for the sake of it, but once again, I was surprised that nobody changed the formation to make more of our one man advantage. Hall replaced Doherty for the second half, because of a bad knock Doc got near half-time. What an ideal opportunity to put Hume up front, leaving a three man defence to cope with Leek's lone attacker. Hume, Holt and Peverell could then have really pressurised Leek's defence. But we didn't do it. Our midfield played far too deep and failed to support the front men. Time after time no one overlapped to provide a wider option for the man on the ball. As a result many of our attacks just broke down. Very often Barrow had only had two or three men in the box. It should have been five or six.

Jones, though, was a revelation. He's so keen to get the ball and when he does, he just runs with it. He had four clear chances and was unlucky that only one resulted in a goal. He linked well with Roberts, who'd replaced Peverell. Roberts himself should also have scored, heading wide from only three yards and then having a shot cleared on the line right at the end.

It was a good result and in the end there was only one team in it. Leek were a very disappointing side, even allowing for the sending off. Let's hope Colwyn Bay are as accommodating on Tuesday evening.

From the Manchester Evening News Pink

After exerting all the early pressure, Leek found themselves down to 10 men in the 13th minute when Rose was dismissed after a clash with Rogers. Within seven minutes Barrow had taken the lead through a good move down the right and Holt crossed to the far post where Peverell was on hand to net via two deflections. In time added on at the end of the first half Peverell netted his second from another Holt cross. Leek worked hard in the second half getting plenty of ball into the box and Jones added a third for Barrow four minutes from time.

Ashton United 7 Chorley 2, Belper Town 0 Gretna 0, Eastwood Town 0 Harrogate Town 2, Farsley Celtic 2 Winsford United 3, Guiseley 0 Kendal Town 0, Matlock Town 2 Workington 2, Ossett Town 1 Congleton Town 1, Radcliffe Borough 1 Vauxhall Motors 0, Stocksbridge Park Steels 0 Bradford Park Avenue 3, Trafford 2 Witton Albion 1.

P W D L F A GD Pts
Bradford PA 29 19 2 8 57 28 29 59
Ashton United 29 17 5 7 71 36 35 56
Vauxhall Motors 27 17 4 6 68 33 35 55
Ossett Town 32 13 9 10 57 46 11 48
Stocksbridge PS 28 13 9 6 50 39 11 48
Trafford 33 14 6 13 45 53 -8 47
Witton Albion 27 11 9 7 36 32 4 42
Farsley Celtic 30 12 6 12 43 41 2 42
Chorley 30 11 9 10 49 48 1 42
Harrogate Town 29 12 5 12 42 45 -3 41
Lincoln United 32 11 7 14 48 60 -12 40
Belper Town 27 11 6 10 48 47 1 39
Radcliffe Borough 24 11 2 11 45 44 1 35
Workington 28 8 11 9 36 35 1 35
North Ferriby United 29 9 7 13 41 49 -8 34
Eastwood Town 33 9 7 17 32 50 -18 34
Matlock Town 26 9 6 11 48 46 2 33
Winsford United 31 9 9 13 41 53 -12 33
Guiseley 30 8 8 14 21 37 -16 32
Gretna 28 8 6 14 50 64 -14 30
Kendal Town 30 6 11 13 39 58 -19 28
Congleton Town 26 7 4 15 30 53 -23 25

Boston United 1 Rushden & Diamonds 1, Dagenham & Redbridge P Doncaster Rovers P, Kettering Town 2 Yeovil Town 1, Kingstonian 1 Morecambe 6, Leigh RMI 4 Hayes 0, Northwich Victoria 2 Dover Athletic 0.

P W D L F-A Pts
Rushden & Diamonds........31 19 7 5 61-28 64
Yeovil Town...............29 19 4 6 52-34 61
Southport.................29 15 6 8 44-33 51
Dagenham & Redbridge......29 15 5 9 48-35 50
Chester City..............28 12 11 5 38-24 47
Hereford United...........29 12 10 7 44-26 46
Leigh RMI.................28 12 10 6 45-31 46
Stevenage Borough.........28 10 14 4 51-40 44
Telford United............29 13 5 11 33-36 44
Scarborough...............31 11 10 10 43-42 43
Doncaster Rovers..........31 11 9 11 30-33 42
Boston United.............33 8 15 10 50-46 39
Morecambe.................26 10 8 8 48-32 38
Woking....................31 9 11 11 37-44 38
Dover Athletic............31 10 7 14 44-47 37
Northwich Victoria........32 9 8 15 36-52 35
Nuneaton Borough..........29 8 10 11 38-46 34
Hayes.....................33 8 6 19 31-62 30
Forest Green Rovers.......30 5 11 14 29-47 26
Kingstonian...............28 7 5 16 34-53 26
Kettering Town............30 6 8 16 31-51 26
Hednesford Town...........31 4 10 17 38-63 22

Aldershot Town P Purfleet P, Carshalton Athletic 1 Basingstoke Town 0, Chesham United 1 Harrow Borough 1, Dulwich Hamlet P Hampton & Richmond P, Gravesend & Northfleet P Hendon P, Grays Athletic 2 Enfield 0, Heybridge Swifts 2 Farnborough Town 3, Hitchin Town 7 Croydon 3, St Albans City 0 Billericay Town 0, Slough Town 4 Sutton United 4.

P W D L F-A Pts
Farnborough Town..........31 25 2 4 67-18 77
Gravesend & Northfleet....28 18 5 5 53-25 59
Canvey Island.............26 18 4 4 51-22 58
Basingstoke Town..........28 16 6 6 50-30 54
Aldershot Town............27 14 7 6 47-26 49
Heybridge Swifts..........28 13 10 5 51-36 49
Hampton & Richmond........30 14 7 9 58-47 49
Chesham United............28 15 3 10 55-39 48
Hitchin Town..............30 14 3 13 51-43 45
St Albans City............29 12 3 14 38-41 39
Billericay Town...........25 10 8 7 33-38 38
Sutton United.............28 10 7 11 48-46 37
Purfleet..................28 9 9 10 41-35 36
Hendon....................23 10 5 8 41-34 35
Enfield...................32 8 7 17 35-61 31
Slough Town...............30 7 6 17 29-45 27
Grays Athletic............27 7 6 14 25-47 27
Harrow Borough............29 6 9 14 40-67 27
Maidenhead United.........27 8 1 18 31-46 25
Carshalton Athletic.......30 7 4 19 27-64 25
Croydon...................27 5 5 17 32-56 20
Dulwich Hamlet............29 2 7 20 25-62 13

Cambridge City 2 Moor Green 0, Clevedon Town 8 Fisher Athletic 1, Dorchester Town 0 Margate 1, Folkestone Invicta 1 Worcester City 2, Halesowen Town 0 King's Lynn 4, Ilkeston Town 1 Salisbury City 1, Newport County 2 Havant & Waterlooville 2, Stafford Rangers 5 Welling United 2, Tamworth 4 Merthyr Tydfil 0.

P W D L F-A Pts
Margate...................28 20 3 5 51-18 63
Burton Albion.............31 17 11 3 56-30 62
Stafford Rangers..........31 14 8 9 56-45 50
Worcester City............32 13 8 11 41-39 47
Newport County............30 13 7 10 58-48 46
Welling United............33 11 13 9 42-43 46
Salisbury City............31 13 6 12 52-52 45
Bath City.................30 12 11 7 57-52 44
Crawley Town..............28 12 7 9 43-34 43
King's Lynn...............31 11 9 11 48-46 42
Tamworth..................33 12 6 15 47-49 42
Moor Green................30 12 6 12 32-34 42
Ilkeston Town.............31 11 9 11 39-49 42
Weymouth..................27 11 7 9 46-38 40
Havant & Waterlooville....26 12 3 11 50-41 39
Cambridge City............29 10 8 11 41-42 38
Folkestone Invicta........31 10 5 16 37-56 35
Merthyr Tydfil............31 8 10 13 40-51 34
Fisher Athletic...........29 8 5 16 39-61 29
Clevedon Town.............31 7 6 18 48-58 27
Dorchester Town...........28 7 6 15 28-46 27
Halesowen Town............31 5 10 16 34-53 25

Bath City: 3 points deducted

Bedlington Terriers 4 Marske United 0 (1516).

Bedlington Terriers v Berkhamsted Town, Taunton Town v Clitheroe.

Canvey Island 1 Telford 0 (807), Chester 1 Southport 0 (3204), Forest Green Rovers 2 Worksop Town 1 (1448), Hereford 1 Burton Albion 0 (3238).

First Leg: Saturday 31 March
Forest Green Rovers v Hereford United, Canvey Island v Chester City.

Second Leg: Saturday 7 April
Hereford United v Forest Green Rovers, Chester City v Canvey Island.


UniBond Challenge Cup: Marine v Bishop Auckland, Lancaster v Belper or Droylsden.

UniBond President’s Cup: Stalybridge v Vauxhall Motors, Blyth Spartans or Workington v Farsley or Accrington Stanley.

UniBond Chairman’s Cup: Chorley v Barrow, Harrogate or Runcorn v Worksop Town.

From Scott Leslie

I saw Derek Townsley play for Queen of the South against East Fife and Heart of Midlothian two seasons ago. He looked a very good player and soon after that Motherwell signed him, Derek used to be postman, but I don't know if he still is.

This reminds me of a story about David Harvey, the former Leeds United and Scotland goalkeeper, who after leaving professional football became a postman in Knaresborough, when he was asked if he found it a bit of an anti-climax after the pressures and rigours of football, he shrugged his shoulders and said “ Not sure, but it sure beats walking the streets.”

From Richard Ingham

As he was not required for the Barrow squad yesterday, Andy rang up his old club Vickers SC to try and get a game. I don't know who the opponents were but he played in Vickers' 1-1 draw.

UniBond Review by Phil Yelland.

Emley Cash In
Premier Division leaders Emley have cashed in on the transfer of one of their former players, Glyn Hurst. Hurst moved north of the border, along with colleague Mickey Reynolds in March 1998 to join First Division Ayr United. He has been a huge success for the Somerset Park side, scoring plenty of goals and being touted for a move to at least one Scottish Premier Division side. However, he indicated before Christmas that he wished to return to England and he has now completed a move to First Division Stockport County. The fee is reported to be in the region of UKP150,000 and it is said that because of a sell on clause the Yorkshire club will benefit to the tune of UKP24,000.

Ten Years On
In these days of clubs changing managers regularly in the search for success, there are few managers who last, in post for more than five years. However, at First Division promotion chasers Stocksbridge Parks Steels the manager Mick Horne and his assistant Trevor Gough have now been in charge for ten years. The Bracken Moor club recognised their service before a recent home game. Over those ten years, the club has moved from the lower reaches of the North East Counties League to fourth spot in the UniBond First Division. I understand, however, that they may struggle to progress further this season, due to problems with their pitch that may need major work in the close season.

Runcorn Make Money
Many of you will recall that earlier in the season, Runcorn held a fund raising friendly against Liverpool that was watched by over 2000 fans. Any of you who visited Canal Street a couple of weeks ago and bought a programme will be aware that they are hoping to improve their financial position with the sale of their ground. However, to keep cash flowing at the moment, they held another fund raising friendly against Everton. This time the crowd was only 700 or so but after a winter of so many postponements any cash through the gate will be appreciated. The Linnets best home League gate of the season stands at 392 for the visit of Marine back in August. This afternoon, the Linnets are playing Bishop Auckland at the home of Widnes rugby league club, the Autoquest Stadium. As the game is designed to promote UniBond League soccer in a new venue, the League have agreed to the proposal that entry to the game should be free of charge.

Frickley Close The Gap
After a very difficult season, it is beginning to look as if Frickley Athletic might just escape relegation after a string of improved results. Manager Steve Richards has dipped into the transfer market, again to add some experience to his squad. Mark Tyrrell has joined up from Conference side Scarborough whilst experienced defender Alex Willgrass has been signed from Northern Counties East side Pickering Town. He numbers Gateshead and Harrogate Town amongst his former clubs.

Eastwood Cash In - Again
In recent seasons, Eastwood Town boss Bryan Chambers has gained a reputation for developing young players and selling them on for the benefit of the Badgers. The latest player off the production line is midfielder Nick Kennerdale who, after a loan spell with Conference side Nuneaton Borough and sealed a permanent move to Manor Park for a reported fee of UKP5000. The Badgers will also benefit from any future transfer fee because of a sell on clause. As he leaves Coronation Park, Chambers has brought in two new players to boost Town's squad as they battle against relegation. The first signing was that of Jamie Eaton who previously played for Town and has been recently been featuring for neighbours Ilkeston Town in the Dr Martens Premier Division. The second signing is experienced defender Lee Handbury who has joined from Belper Town after spells with Alfreton Town and Matlock Town.

Slythe Moves, Again
I mentioned in a recent home programme that Scottish striker Mark Slythe had moved to England and seemed to be collecting clubs like some people collect programmes. He had a one game stay at Leigh RMI before joining Kendal Town. Now, he has moved, again and joined Premier Division side Bamber Bridge. He began the season with Elgin City.

Surprise Move
Amid rumours of budget cuts, Whitby Town boss Harry Dunn has made a major singing in a bid to bolster his midfield options. The new man at the Turnbull Ground is ex England semi-professional international Kenny Cramman. Cramman was released by Rushden & Diamonds at the end of last season and joined Conference newcomers Boston United. That move did not work out and after a loan spell with Slough Town, he was released and returned north to join his former club, Gateshead. He has now been released by the Tynesiders and will be looking to prove them wrong as Town look to arrest a recent form slump.

'Boro Help Bury
After the efforts of Accrington Stanley to help struggling Second Division team Bury, Radcliffe Borough have pitched in to help the cash strapped Shakers. 'Boro have handed their gate receipts from the recent home game against Kendal Town, less expenses, to assist the Gigg Lane outfit who have helped 'Boro out in the past.

Holker Street Review by Phil Yelland.

A warm welcome this afternoon to Holker Street for the first of our three home UniBond Premier Division games in the next week. Our visitors are Leek Town. This game evokes memories of 1990 when the two clubs met at Wembley in the FA Trophy Final and some friendships will be renewed this afternoon, I am sure. This afternoon's game gives us the chance to set the record straight against the Staffordshire side who have won the last three meetings between the clubs. Last season, despite taking the lead, here thanks to a Lee Brydon strike, we went on to lose 4-1 and had Greg Challender dismissed just before the interval. The return game at Harrison Park saw us lose 2-1. In September, our trip down the M6 ended in a disappointing defeat after we had dominated the game. Our scorer was Steve Housham and, suffice to say, it was a game to forget for our goalkeeper that afternoon, Paul Heritage who is now at Gretna. Town have had a difficult season and, after the departure of two managers, Andy Holmes and Mark Gardiner, they now have joint managers in Karl Wilcox and Mark Bromley who were previously in charge at Rocester in the Dr Martens League Western Division. However, we will have a real battle this afternoon - just a couple of weeks ago, Town won a point in a 1-1 draw at League leaders, Emley.

Semi Finals Next
A big thank you to all fans who came along to the ground last Saturday for our Chairman's Cup Quarter- Final against Premier Division leaders, Emley. Our record over the years against them is not too good and the team turned on an encouraging performance to win 4-2. Congratulations to Graham Anthony who, on his return to the team scored his second goal for the club. Nicky Peverell netted his 27th goal of the season, equalling last seasons total and Grant Holt netted his second goal for the club. Grant's previous goal came in another 4-2 win, against Hucknall Town exactly one year ago during his previous loan spell with us. Darren Roberts also netted his fifth goal of the season after replacing Nicky Peverell.

Eric Harrison
Many of you will have seen the coverage of the launch of Eric Harrison's autobiography. Eric was, of course the youth team coach at Manchester United who discovered and nurtured such talents as David Beckham, the Neville brothers, Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs. What some of you may not know is that Eric was a member of the Barrow team that won promotion to the old Division Three (now Division Two) in the 1966-67 season and Eric returned to the club for the 1971-72 season. Born in Halifax, Eric began his career with his home town club and made 199 League appearances for them, scoring ten times before joining Hartlepool. He made a further 81 League appearances for the Victoria Ground outfit, scoring four times before arriving at Holker Street in July 1966. He left Furness in June 1969 and joined Southport for whom he made 75 League appearances without scoring before returning to Barrow in July 1971. He left the club in the summer of 1972 and joined former Barrow boss Colin Appleton at Scarborough.

He made 187 appearances for us in his two spells in all competitions, scoring three times. Eric's final League appearance for the club came in our final Football League game at Exeter City. Eric has never forgotten his time at Holker Street and I understand that as well as some supporters, some former Bluebird's stalwarts - Colin Appleton, Brain Arrowsmith and Billy McAdams all attended the book launch.

Brian Kidd
Brian Kidd was also a member of the Manchester United backroom staff when Eric was youth team coach when he was first team coach to Alex Ferguson. The day after Eric launched his book, Kidd returned to the limelight when he was appointed as first team coach at Leeds United. I am sure many of you will remember that Kidd also has Barrow connections. He had a spell in charge at Holker Street between December 1984 and April 1985. Suffice to say that whilst Harrison was a fans’ favourite, Kidd was not and few tears were shed when he moved to Preston North End as assistant boss to ex Manchester City team mate Tommy Booth. For the record, as a player, Kidd played five times, scoring twice.

Welcome Back, Lee
As a number of you may be aware, goalkeeper Lee Copeland has rejoined the club following a spell with First Division Gretna. Lee, of course kept goal for the current squad in the pre-season friendly against the 1990 FA Trophy winning squad last July. I think I may be correct in saying that he is one of very few players who has played for all the current UniBond clubs in the county and Gretna. I suspect that Graham Emmerson, last heard of at Gretna may also have completed that feat. Lee made over 300 appearances for Workington and probably enjoyed his best spell at Borough Park when another ex Bluebird, Alan Cook was in charge of team affairs. Lee made his Barrow debut as long ago as September 1985 when he replaced Kevin Brockbank after a 5-0 FA Cup drubbing at Brandon. He debut was against Scarborough and whilst we lost the game 4-2 he put in a decent performance. He went on to make 83 first team appearances for us, the last in a 3-0 defeat at Macclesfield in the Conference in March 1991. We welcome Lee back to the club and hope he enjoys being involved, again.

All Change
Just when you thought our League fixtures had been finalised; there has been another change. On Saturday 31 March, we are now at home to Frickley Athletic. The return game will take place at Westfield Lane on Tuesday evening, 4 April. This means that the fixtures are, in effect reversed. It also gives us a remarkable run in to the end of the season in that, with the exception of our trip to Colwyn Bay on the final day of the season, all of our remaining mid-week League games are now away from home. That gives us an incredible run of home League games on Saturdays - starting today, with the exception of the 24 March, we are at home every Saturday between now and the end of April. Please make coming to Holker Street a Saturday habit and bring a friend if you can.

Well Done, Dalton
It is always good to see local teams doing well and it seems appropriate to congratulate Alec Ogilvie's Dalton United team in reaching the Final of the Lancashire Amateur Shield. I understand that their opponents will be current West Lancashire League leaders Kirkham & Wesham and I am sure that all soccer fans in the area hope they can bring the Shield home, perhaps with a goal or two from Gareth Jones who netted the winner in their Semi Final success against Haydock.

Give 'Em Beans
I hear on the grapevine that our well-known and popular fanzine 'Give 'Em Beans' Will be on sale this afternoon with a host of good features. Full marks to Graham Murphy and his team who certainly bring a refreshing approach to footballing matters in the fanzine.

Don't Forget
We are at home twice in the next seven days. On Tuesday evening, we play our final mid-week home League game (as currently scheduled) when Colwyn Bay are the visitors and, next Saturday, our visitors are Hucknall Town.

On This Day: 10 March 1979 by Phil Yelland, NPL, Gainsborough Trinity 1 Barrow 2

Barrow headed to Lincolnshire looking to improve a poor record at the Northolme. Player/manager Brian McManus was anxious to end a disastrous run away from home in the League. The team was without a win in their last six away League games and things had changed dramatically since a 1-0 win at Netherfield in early October had seen the team well placed in the top six. After a disappointing mid-week derby defeat at Workington in mid-week, the player/manager left himself out in a reshuffle that saw Brain Cowperthwaite return in defence. Having beaten Trinity with a last gasp revival in November, there were hopes that the 'double' could be completed.

The early stages were fairly even but on ten minutes Barrow almost took the lead. There seemed to be little danger when Zolotarczuk swung in a cross which home goalkeeper Finch seemed set to claim. However, his own defender Hamilton had other ideas as he intercepted the ball and headed it against his own bar. Rob Thomas might have won a penalty shortly after as he appeared to be fouled in the box but the referee ignored his claim. On 21 minutes the home side took the lead. Bad marking from a Boyers corner saw Les Harris head home at the far post. The home side might have moved further in front when Alan Suddick left a back pass well short and it took a brave save by Kevin Thomas to deny Boyers. Then East saw Thomas brilliantly parry a header. Barrow were lucky only to be one goal behind at the interval. The second half was a different story. Alan Suddick went close to equalising on 49 minutes when he sent a long range shot just over the bar before Dave Large set up Colin Cowperthwaite who was denied by the diving Finch. On 66 minutes, we grabbed a deserved equaliser when Rob Thomas. The striker collected a Cook pass, turned past home defender Myers and drilled a low shot into the far corner of the net. That spurred Trinity on and Boyers tested Thomas from close range but he was equal to it. Both sides now went all out for the winner and it looked as if Barrow had claimed the points with one minute to go when a close range Paul Wilson header was kept out by a miraculous save by Des Finch at the expense of a corner. However, it was only a let off for Trinity as from the resultant flag kick by Alan Cook, Colin Cowperthwaite connected with a spectacular left foot volley which found the top corner of the net.

The visiting fans went home happy and, when the club completed the season it had won more League games on the road (8) than they managed here at Holker Street (6).

Gainsborough Trinity: Finch; Jones, Hamilton, East, Myers; Williams, Brown, Wignall, Downes; Harris, Boyers. Sub: Raynor for Williams - 37 mins.
Barrow: K. Thomas; B. Cowperthwaite, Gordon, Large, Zolotarczuk; Cook, Taylor, Suddick, Wilson; C. Cowperthwaite, R. Thomas. Sub: McManus - unused.
Referee: P. Holland (Sheffield).
Gate: 200 est.

By Terry Kendall

September 30 1975, Barrow 1 Morecambe 0
Barrow: Taylor, Stevens, Brooks, Arrowsmith, Large, Martin, Cook, Willder, McDonald, Wilson, McManus. Sub: B. Sharpe.
Morecambe: McLachlan, Pearson, Aspin, Sutton, Street, Baldwin, Done, Ross (Skinner 79), Galley, Kershaw, Grundy.
Goal. Brian McManus 11.
Ref: J. Clarke (Chorley). Half-time: 1-0. Att: 329.

HSN Archive
Select a year from the list below then click on the newsletter version number to view. Use back to return to the listings.
You can search the archive.

To receive the latest HSN editions please contact Ralph at ralph@inspire.net.nz

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