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cowps

Barrow A.F.C.

Barrow A.F.C. are a football team based in the town of Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria, England. Following their recent promotion, they will be playing in the Conference National for the 2008–09 season.

The team are known by their fans as "The Bluebirds", owing to their blue and white kit. Attendances vary - the 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 has remained consistently between 800 and 1,100. The 2007-08 average attendance was 1,084.

History

Barrow AFC were founded on July 16th 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 pyramid for all but three seasons. During this time, they remained relatively obscure, only occasionally coming to national attention. Their F.A. Cup Third Round 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 Division 3, 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.

The Wilkie years

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 3rd 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

In 1998, the club entered financial difficulties following the departure of Liverpool based chairman Stephen Vaughan. 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 Holker Street 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 December 30 1999, recognised as the last professional or semi-professional game in the UK of the millennium (assuming the year 2000 is considered to be part of the third millennium AD). 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 A.F.C. in a two-legged final in the UniBond Presidents (League) Cup. The game finished 6-6 on aggregate, Barrow winning on away goals. In 2004-2005, Barrow AFC became founder members of yet another division, this time the Conference North.

The following two seasons Barrow showed poor form in the league, narrowly escaping relegation at the end of 2006–07. 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.

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 A.F.C. Bournemouth, it was the club's poor league form which cost the manager his job. Barrow's first team affairs are currently in the hands of David Bayliss and Darren Sheridan who have been appointed as the new management team. They led Barrow from 20th place to 5th, ensuring a place in the play offs for promotion to the Conference National. Barrow won the semi-final against A.F.C. Telford United 4–0 on aggregate, before beating Stalybridge Celtic in the playoff final, held at the Pirelli Stadium, Burton upon Trent.

Players

As of 23 August 2008.

Current squad

Notable former players

Managers

As of 5th July, 2008. Only league matches are counted.

Name Nat From To Record
P W D L F A Win %
Jacob Fletcher July 1901 April 1904

78 33 15 30 146 135 42.31%
E. Freeland April 1904 ????

? ? ? ? ? ? ?
W. Smith ???? ????

? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Alec Craig ???? ????

? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Roger Charnley May 1907 ????

? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Jacob Fletcher ???? September 1909

? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Jas P. Phillips September 1909 ????

? ? ? ? ? ? ?
John Parker July 1913 July 1920

114 55 16 43 232 197 48.25%
William Dickinson July 1920 May 1922

72 37 11 24 121 82 51.39%
Jimmy Atkinson August 1922 March 1923

30 11 4 15 44 43 36.67%
J.E. Moralee April 1923 January 1926

112 29 18 65 121 217 25.89%
Robert Greenhalgh January 1926 February 1926

2 0 0 2 3 7 0%
William Dickinson February 1926 October 1927

67 12 12 43 61 182 17.91%
John S. Maconnachie October 1927 December 1928

52 12 15 25 70 116 23.08%
Andrew Walker January 1929 June 1930

62 16 7 39 74 142 25.81%
Thomas Miller June 1930 November 1930

16 3 3 10 17 39 18.75%
John Commins November 1930 May 1932

65 36 5 24 137 96 55.38%
Thomas Lowe May 1932 April 1937

204 73 47 84 351 378 35.78%
James Y. Bissett April 1937 December 1937

19 4 2 13 14 36 21.05%
Fred E. Pentland January 1938 June 1940

84 29 23 32 146 149 34.52%
John Commins August 1945 March 1947

54 17 10 27 71 104 31.48%
Andrew Beattie March 1947 April 1949

95 36 26 33 106 95 37.89%
Jack Hacking May 1949 May 1955

272 96 57 119 363 421 35.29%
Joe Harvey July 1955 June 1957

92 33 18 41 137 145 35.87%
Norman Dodgin July 1957 May 1958

46 13 15 18 66 74 28.26%
Bill Brown July 1958 August 1959

46 9 10 27 51 104 19.57%
Bill Rogers August 1959 October 1959

15 3 5 7 24 37 20%
Ron Staniforth October 1959 July 1964

213 67 61 85 312 360 31.46%
Don McEvoy July 1964 July 1967

138 52 32 54 207 235 37.68%
Colin Appleton August 1967 January 1969

70 32 13 25 103 90 45.71%
Fred Else January 1969 February 1969

5 0 1 4 2 14 0%
Norman Bodell March 1969 February 1970

46 9 11 27 38 82 19.57%
Don McEvoy February 1970 November 1971

78 15 18 45 88 142 19.23%
Bill Rogers November 1971 November 1971

2 0 1 1 2 3 0%
Jack Crompton December 1971 June 1972

28 10 5 13 25 40 35.71%
Peter Kane July 1972 June 1974

92 25 13 54 98 195 27.17%
Brian Arrowsmith July 1974 November 1975

67 12 18 37 61 115 17.91%
Ron Yeats December 1975 February 1977

46 15 8 23 61 90 32.61%
Alan Coglan and Billy McAdams February 1977 July 1977

21 5 3 13 26 38 23.81%
David Hughes July 1977 July 1977

0 0 0 0 0 0 0%
Brian McManus July 1977 November 1979

103 31 23 49 115 161 30.10%
Micky Taylor November 1979 May 1983

147 52 35 60 192 206 35.37%
Vic Halom July 1983 May 1984

42 29 10 3 92 38 69.05%
Peter McDonnell July 1984 November 1984

17 5 9 3 27 21 29.41%
Joe Wojciechowicz November 1984 December 1984

1 0 0 1 1 3 0%
Brian Kidd December 1984 April 1985

19 5 6 8 14 20 26.32%
John Cooke April 1985 April 1985

3 1 0 2 3 9 33.33%
Bob Murphy April 1985 May 1985

2 0 1 1 2 4 0%
Maurice Whittle May 1985 October 1985

12 0 4 8 11 29 0%
David Johnson October 1985 March 1985

16 5 2 9 13 28 31.25%
Glenn Skivington and Neil McDonald March 1986 March 1986

4 0 0 4 4 10 0%
Ray Wilkie March 1986 November 1991

236 93 62 81 325 311 39.41%
Neil McDonald November 1991 December 1991

4 1 0 3 7 9 25%
John King December 1991 May 1992

22 5 6 11 24 36 22.73%
Graham Heathcote May 1992 December 1992

23 10 7 6 40 31 43.48%
Richard Dinnis December 1992 October 1993

30 12 6 12 45 40 40%
Mick Cloudsdale October 1993 June 1994

31 14 8 9 45 35 45.16%
Tony Hesketh June 1994 March 1996

74 32 16 26 121 101 43.24%
Neil McDonald and Franny Ventre March 1996 March 1996

2 0 0 2 3 6 0%
Mike Walsh March 1996 October 1996

20 11 5 4 32 20 55%
Owen Brown October 1996 January 1999

100 49 22 29 127 95 49%
Shane Westley January 1999 July 1999

16 4 4 8 13 22 25%
Greg Challender July 1999 August 1999

0 0 0 0 0 0 0%
Kenny Lowe August 1999 May 2003

176 78 46 52 307 233 44.32%
Lee Turnbull May 2003 November 2005

102 41 28 33 164 146 40.20%
Darren Edmondson November 2005 December 2005

3 1 2 0 5 3 33.33%
Phil Wilson December 2005 November 2007

78 20 24 34 85 100 25.64%
Darren Sheridan and David Bayliss November 2007 Present

32 22 8 2 62 21 68.75%

Honours

1901-1920 (Non League)

1921-1972 (Football League)

1972- (Non League)

References

External links

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