League 2 previews: Barrow

Jun 17, 2021 | News

Next we come to what, for many, will be a new ground to visit next season.

Holker Street or, to give it the correct title of the Progression Solicitors Stadium, is the home of Barrow AFC who returned to the English Football League, after a 48 year absence, at the end of the 2019/20 season after finishing Champions of the National League.

Their first season back saw them finish in 21st place, with 50 points from their 46 games and their home record was seven wins, eight defeats and eight draws.

How disappointing for their supporters that they were unable to watch their side back in the league after such a lengthy absence. Hopefully, they will play in front of capacity crowds next time around at their ground, which holds 5,045.

Rovers first met Barrow in a league match on 2nd October 1967, the first of six league encounters, three of which have been won by Rovers, two by Barrow and there has been one draw.

There have been two FA Cup meetings between the sides and I was one of 221 Gasheads at the first round tie on November 11th 2006 when thanks to goals from Richard Walker, Craig Disley and Rickie Lambert Rovers were 3-2 winners on a dreadful afternoon as the game was played in rain and a galeforce wind.


(photo courtesy of Jeff Davis)

That match is probably best remembered for the incident which saw Sean Rigg suffer a broken jaw in an incident involving Barrow’s James Cotterill who later received a custodial sentence for his assault on the Rovers midfielder.

Unfortunately, I was also at the second of those two FA Cup ties when Barrow gained revenge for that defeat in 2006 by winning 2-1 at the Mem in a second round tie on 4th December 2016. Barrow were, at the time, in the Conference and the result was quite an upset.

The last time the sides met in the league was in the old Third Division, on 14th March 1970 when an Eastville crowd of 11,229 saw Rovers win 2-1 thanks to goals from Carl Gilbert and Alex Munro.

Players to have turned out for both clubs include Paul Tait and Luke James and Tom Davies, who both featured for Barrow AFC in the season just ended.

A one way trip to Barrow’s ground from the Mem is 254 miles.

Keith Brookman