Ralph is perhaps better known as the editor of the Holker Street Newsletter which is published nearly every day, free of charge on the Internet. We pinch so much stuff off him that we thought we'd better credit him here. If you want to receive Ralph's Newsletter, then e-mail him on ralph@non-league.net


Ralph Sheppard

  • Other names

  • Birthplace
    Risedale Maternity Hospital. I lived on Plymouth Street, then moved to Thornfield Park, opposite the Tech.

  • Physical appearance
    Stunningly handsome, in the dark.

  • Earliest childhood memory
    We used to live a couple of doors away from Mick Hartland who played for Barrow. When I was about four, my Dad pointed him out.

  • Earliest memory of Barrow AFC
    Going to see them play Hartlepool at Holker St while we were still in the League. Perhaps 1970 or 1971.

  • Best memory of Barrow AFC
    1990 FA Trophy Final.

  • Worst memory of Barrow AFC
    Watching them get beaten at Kettering in the Trophy the season after winning it. The weather was freezing, and the collective sigh of disappointment from the crowd when they realised the game was going to go to extra time was a moment that will stay with me for a long, long time.

  • Favourite players, past and present
    Micky Richmond, Cowps and Maurice Whittle. As for the current crop, I'll have to pass, I haven't seen Barrow play since 1991.

  • Favourite manager
    Ray Wilkie.

  • Favourite Tellytubby
    They're all kinda cute.

  • Favourite All Saint
    I prefer my women to have a little more culture and I don't mean in a jar.

  • Favourite record
    'Walk on the Wild Side' by Lou Reed.

  • Favourite television programme
    'Match of the Day' (I live in New Zealand and television here leaves a lot to be desired, ask Eddie Kennedy).

  • Favourite colour
    Blue, is there any other?

  • Favourite food

  • Favourite building
    My mum's house.

  • What do you like most about women?
    They are very forgiving and understanding, aren't you dear?

  • What do women find most unappealing about you?
    My life following Barrow AFC. If it's an aphrodisiac for me, imagine what it must be like for my better half.

  • How many of Barrow's games do you see in a season?
    None, but I have a hell of an excuse!

  • Why do you support Barrow AFC?
    I was born in Barrow.

  • Do you support any other football team?
    Leeds, Everton, Napier City Rovers, and any English team touring New Zealand.

  • When did you start contributing to G'EB!?

  • What is the worst thing about being a G'EB! contributor?
    No royalties.

  • What has been your most horrendous journey to a Barrow match?
    Getting up at four in the morning to travel from Norwich to Bishop Auckland to see Barrow play in the FA Cup, and not getting home until two the next morning. At least we won. Or walking to Holker Street from my parents' house in Barrow in August 1991, knowing this would be my last Barrow game for ages, as I was emigrating to New Zealand that October.

  • What are your predictions for the future?
    We won't win the UniBond this season, but we will survive. As Shane Westley once said, 'If you build it, it will come.' Or was that someone else?

  • How many questions have you answered seriously?
    As if.

  • Can you think of any other questions I should have asked you?
    Have you ever been convicted of perjury? And all the following...

  • Who kindled your interest in Barrow AFC?
    My father.

  • What was the first game you attended without your father?
    Barrow v Lytham in the Lancashire Cup.

  • What is the worst ever Barrow game you have seen?
    Seeing us lose to South Bank in the FA Cup at Holker St, after we were 2-0 up, and one of their goals was a stunning own goal.

  • What is Barrow's rightful place in the football pyramid?
    Football League Division Three.

  • Were you involved in the graffiti 'BARROW RULE THE THIRD'?

  • Where were you in 1972 when Barrow lost their Football League status?
    At home, I remember the Evening Mail being delivered and reading it there.

  • Have you ever persuaded anyone else to start supporting Barrow?

  • What's the best Barrow goal ever?
    The one by Micky Carroll against Enfield in the Trophy semi-final at Holker St in 1989.
Issue 040 - May 1999