Things died down a bit once the season got underway, but here just to round off this little series are the events of the final third of 1999...

1999 - BARROW's YEAR of TRAUMA

#3 • September - December

Wednesday
1 September

Barrow AFC liquidator Jim Duckworth tells the Evening Mail that he has sent a dossier of papers regarding the ownership of the ground to legal experts who are now considering whether to initiate court proceedings.

Barrow are fined £1,000 with £10,000 suspended, for the worst disciplinary record in the whole of English football in the previous season, having incurred a staggering nine red cards and 105 yellows.

Tuesday
7 September

Barrow's patched together team totally outplays Droylsden to win 3-0 at the Butcher's Arms.

Saturday
11 September

Barrow 0 Runcorn 2

Tuesday
14 September

Barrow lose 3-4 at home to Bamber Bridge in a First Round UniBond League Cup group match.

Saturday
18 September

Marine come back from two goals down to draw 2-2 in an FA Cup Second Qualifying Round tie at Holker St.

AFC director Steve Leonard appeals to fans to renew their membership of the club. Only 600 of the original 1,300 who joined in February have renewed their £10 subscription, leaving the club short on their budget and causing problems with cash flow.

Tuesday
21 September

FA Cup Second Qualifying Round replay - Marine 3 Barrow 2. Marine's winner, from a debatable penalty five minutes from time, and a Barrow goal disallowed in the last minute are the controversial points of this match, referred to by the Marine website as the 'most entertaining seen at Rossett Park in the last four years.'

Wednesday
22 September

President Alan Dunn and liquidator Jim Duckworth meet with the UniBond League, where the League demands/ requests(?) the following:

  • A bond of £15,000 as insurance against the club not fulfilling its fixtures
  • An entrance fee to the League of £2,000 plus VAT to be paid in four monthly instalments commencing at the end of October
  • A payment of £2,000 from the running of the club into a separate bank account every month until it is out of liquidation, the cash to be set aside for the benefit of the creditors.
  • A condition that Barrow's home games will be played at Holker Street. If the ground becomes unavailable for any reason then the club would have to find an alternative venue acceptable to the UniBond.

Alan Dunn says "These terms [are] a substantial financial burden" and he calls upon all existing members "to attend the home games, renew their memberships for the season and support the fund-raising efforts for the club in every way possible."

Meanwhile, there are revolving doors at Holker Street with two in and two out. Kenny Lowe appoints Lee Turnbull as assistant manager and also signs midfielder Wayne Bullimore. Released are veteran utility man Eddie Kennedy and midfielder Ged Murphy.

Thursday
23 September

Andy Toman becomes Kenny Lowe's third new signing this week.

Saturday
25 September

Leigh RMI 1 Barrow 0

Tuesday
28 September

UniBond secretary Duncan Bayley assures the club that it will not be left with an end of season fixture backlog.

Thursday
30 September

An un-named local building company donates £2,000 to the club.

Saturday
2 October

Barrow 2 Worksop Town 3

Thursday
7 October

The Evening Mail reports that solicitors for Northern Improvements have written to the club, threatening to take possession proceedings with a view to evicting the club from Holker Street. Liquidator Jim Duckworth, who is scrutinising the transaction that supposedly put the ground in Northern Improvements possession replies that "Any claims will be strenuously resisted, should they be converted into legal action."

Saturday
9 October

In a much needed confidence booster, Barrow defeat Netherfield Kendal 4-0 at Holker St. in the first round of the FA Trophy.

Tuesday
12 October

Kenny Lowe is sent off for kicking the ball away (his second bookable offence) in a 0-0 draw in the UniBond Cup at Lancaster. The draw means Barrow are out of the Trophy.

The persistence of bizarre refereeing decisions going against the club leads to a new conspiracy theory among Barrow fans on the Internet, with wild speculation that maybe the UniBond themselves are behind it all!

Friday
15 October

Forward Steve Finney moves to Chester.

Saturday
16 October

Nick Peverell scores all three goals in a 3-1 win at Gainsborough Trinity. In previous seasons Barrow's victories at the Northolme have only come in years they have won the League championship. Unfortunately, this is an omen that is unlikely to portend that particular success this season.

Monday
18 October

An application by Scottish finance company, Cherry Tree Finance, to take possession of the Holker Street ground that is due to be heard in Barrow County Court this morning is adjourned at the request of their solicitors, following a challenge to the application lodged by AFC liquidator Jim Duckworth. Cherry Tree provided a £110,000 commercial mortgage to Northern Improvements, the current holders of the Holker Street deeds in April 1997.

Meanwhile, Barrow renew their appeal for members. There are now 820 members, as opposed to the 1,300 who joined the scheme when it was launched in February.

Thursday
21 October

Barrow AFC players agree to a 15% wage cut to help keep the club within its tight financial restrictions.

Lowe adds local utility player Mike McKechnie to the squad.

Friday
22 October

Barrow AFC hold a Meet The Manager evening in the Cross Bar, where supporters can quiz Kenny Lowe and Tony Chilton on the club's progress this season.

Barrow sign a new goalkeeper, Scunthorpe reserve Phil Naisbett.

Saturday
23 October

Greg Challender is sent off as Barrow go down 1-4 at home to Leek Town.

Monday
25 October

Barrow go down 0-1 at Hyde United, Kenny Lowe accepting that the opposition are the better side.

Tuesday
26 October

A Sportsman's Dinner at the Bradyll's Arms with guest speaker Peter Osgood raises £600 for Barrow AFC.

Thursday
28 October

Cherry Tree Finance's legal application to gain possession of Holker Street football ground is set to be heard at Barrow County Court on December 8.

The AFC board again appeal to fans to become members of the club. At the moment membership stands at just over 900.

Saturday
30 October

Barrow fail to complete the double over Gainsborough Trinity, drawing 1-1 at Holker St., the goal coming from debut striker David Rush.

Tuesday
2 November

Another home defeat; 1-3 against fourth from bottom Bishop Auckland. The low crowd of 934 gives the board cause for concern.

Saturday
6 November

Barrow draw 1-1 at home with Stalybridge Celtic. Eddie Johnston, now with the visitors, is applauded from the field to cheers of 'Super Eddie'.

Tuesday
9 November

Barrow win 3-2 at Bamber Bridge with goals from Doherty, Waller and Peverell.

Friday
12 November

With the score still 0-0, Barrow's match at struggling Winsford United is abandoned after 37 minutes due to floodlight failure.

Saturday
13 November

Another Barrow flag makes a prominent appearance on SkyTV, when it features in their hourly news reports of the post-match celebrations following England's 2-0 victory over Scotland in the European Championship play off at Hampden Park.

Monday
15 November

Barrow defeat Skelmersdale United 3-1 in the first round of the Marsden Lancashire Trophy.

Saturday
20 November

Nicky Peverell adds one more to his tally with the only goal of the match as Barrow defeat Spennymoor United to record their first UniBond home victory of the season.

Monday
22 November

Lowe signings Nicky Cranston and Toby Patterson leave Barrow AFC.

Saturday
27 November

Controversy as Barrow go down 2-3 in a bad tempered FA Trophy Second Round tie at home to Southport. The visitors' equalising second goal comes direct from a free kick taken while their trainer is still leaving the pitch following treatment to an injured player, with the vast majority of both sides not prepared for the kick to be taken. Their winner follows two minutes later while Barrow are still trying to recover from this travesty.

Monday
29 November

The board appeal to the Football Association regarding Southport's disputed second goal in Saturday's FA Trophy tie. By now referee Gary Shaw has admitted his error in allowing the goal to stand.

Tuesday
30 November

Despite a sackful of chances, Barrow can only draw 0-0 at Colwyn Bay. Defender Lee Rogers makes his debut for the club in this match.

Thursday
2 December

Kenny Lowe sacks goalkeeper Phil Naisbett for failing to report for Tuesday's match.

Friday
3 December

Barrow's appeal against the result of the Southport match fails. The FA say an appeal can only be accepted if it relates to the interpretation of the competition rules. But Barrow's protest is related to the laws of the game, which come under the sole jurisdiction of the referee, and his decision is deemed to be final.

Chairman Brian Keen and president Alan Dunn receive a special honour at the Cumbria Sports Awards in recognition of their efforts in rescuing Barrow AFC from the brink of disaster.

In a letter to the Evening Mail, Alan Dunn replies in detail to a number of questions regarding the operation of the new club posed by Raise the Roof treasurer Graham Mutton.

Saturday
4 December

A 3-2 home win against fellow strugglers Blyth Spartans takes Barrow above them in the League.

Tuesday
7 December

Barrow draw 0-0 at Gateshead, a result which pleases manager Kenny Lowe, a former Gateshead player and coach himself, immensely.

Wednesday
8 December

Scottish finance company, Cherry Tree Finance go to court to try and obtain possession of Holker St in lieu of payments on a mortgage of £110,000 made to Northern Improvements in 1997 that have not been kept up to date. However, solicitors acting for the club's liquidator succeed in having the order suspended until 2 February 2000. The liquidator himself succeeds in being named as a second defendant in the case, which means he can now be kept up to date with all new developments.

Saturday
11 December

Barrow extend their unbeaten UniBond League run to seven matches with a fantastic 5-2 victory at Frickley Athletic, Nick Peverell bagging his second hat-trick of the season.

Monday
13 December

Membership of Barrow AFC (1999) Ltd. climbs back to 1,100.

Tuesday
14 December

Tonight's scheduled game against Hyde United at Holker Street is postponed due to dangerous frosting on the pitch and terraces on the popular side of the ground.

Wednesday
15 December

Kenny Lowe arranges a trial game for the New Year between Barrow and a team selected from the best players from the local leagues. The best of these will be invited to Holker Street to try for a place in Barrow's first team squad.

Saturday
18 December

Barrow's unbeaten run comes to an end as Droylsden gain revenge for the 3-0 defeat inflicted on them earlier in the season by winning by the same scoreline at Holker St. Ex-Bluebirds Andy Green and Anthony Wright bag a goal apiece.

Monday
27 December

Barrow take the lead at Leek Town through David Rush but eventually go down 2-1.

Thursday
30 December

Over 2,400 turn up at Holker St. to see bottom club Winsford United (with only three draws to their credit so far) hold Barrow to a goalless draw in what has been widely, but falsely, advertised as the last senior match to be played in the UK in the second millennium. Proceedings are enlivened by Dean McSkimmings' inspired streak across the Holker St. pitch during the match.

Friday
31 December

The pseudo-millennium draws to a close, and with it the end of a genuinely traumatic year for Barrow AFC and its supporters. Many of the year's issues are still far from being resolved, but through the efforts of the new board and many supporters the club are still competing at a reasonable level of football and hope to continue to do so for a long time to come...