- Best and worst moments as a Barrow fan.
For a club so historically inured by defeat and failure,
a Wembley appearance was an almost impossible dream, so
achieving that and winning the FA Trophy in 1990 was a
moment to savour. As for the worst, we're old enough to
remember Barrow's failure to be re-elected to the League
in 1972. But as we write (November 1998), the club is
next to bottom of the Conference and faces either an
early return to the UniBond or Conference Division Two,
if that is approved for next season. Getting out of that
may prove very difficult, especially in the early years,
and if our chairman doesn't relish that particular
challenge and pulls out his money, then the worst may
still be around the corner.
- Greatest individual associated with the club in
your time as a supporter.
(manager 1986-91) put together the side that won the FA
Trophy, having taken us out of the Northern Premier to a
creditable position in the Conference, and all with no
money. Jack Charlton famously (in Barrow at least) once
referred to him as the best manager in the country. Ray
was taken ill early in the 1991-92 season and died about
a year later at the tragically early age of 53. A new
stand bears his name and a road outside the ground was
renamed after him.
- What is Barrow's realistically achievable level
(League or non-League)?
Judging by the Macclesfields and Wycombes of this world,
there's no reason why Barrow shouldn't be able to hold
their own in Division Three, or even Two, if we ever were
to win the Conference. But regaining League status has
been the club's ambition ever since that expulsion in
1972, and so far we haven't even come close. And as
Barrow's three spells in the Alliance/Conference since
its inception in 1979 have been of two, two, and three
seasons, perhaps we should first look at producing a side
that can hold its own at the top level of non-League
before we get too carried away.
- Celebrity Barrow fans?
Barrow-born Emlyn Hughes professes to be a long standing
fan, but no-one has ever seen him at Holker St. And
despite the desperate attempts of successive editors to
propel themselves to superstardom, fame still eludes
them. Still we could care less; we reckon that the
qualities of resilience and fortitude required to support
Barrow on a long term basis are enough to confer a form
of celebrity on anyone with the stamina to do so.
- What is Barrow fans' most common complaint about
Our favourite grouse of terrible administration must be
one. Meeting deadlines seems to be a particular problem
for the club. For example, this year their failure to
register a goalkeeper in time for an FA Cup Qualifying
tie almost certainly cost Barrow a place in the next
round. Two years ago while chasing promotion from the
UniBond, the club didn't
meet the Conference deadline for getting the accounts
in. As it happened, Barrow finished fifth, but you see
what we have to put up with.
- Barrow fans least favourite other club. Has this
changed over the years?
How long have you got? We could refer you to a feature
called 'Who Do
You Loathe?' in issue 023, but here's a digest.
Altrincham and Enfield were prime contenders based on the
humiliations they inflicted upon the club in the early
non-League days, coupled with the arrogance that went
with them, but Hereford, by merit of having taken our
League position, and local rivals Morecambe, are
perpetual boo boys. Manchester United are despised by
many of course, but we have particular cause, as in his
four months as manager here in the mid-80s, Brian
Kidd turned a respectable upper mid-table Conference
side into one that would be almost relegated at the end
of the season.
- What is the biggest problem you have in putting it
Lack of contributions, a sense of humour and thinking
of a good idea for the cover.
- What was your most successful issue?
The promotion special we put out at the end of the
1997-98 season for a cut price 50p.
- What do the club think about the fanzine?
Although they kindly allow us to sell it inside the
ground on match days, I don't think anyone in authority
ever reads it or we would have been banned by now. They
just ignore our requests for interviews which sums up
their attitude towards us.
An unedited version of the piece that
appeared in When Saturday Comes (no.143 - January
and also in G'EB! issue 038 - January 1999