Founder member of Division Three (North) 1921. Failed re-election 1972.
Promoted to League Two 2020
1901-1902 g n
1925-1927 l n
1934-1935 e j p
1937-1938 e j
1952-1956 d j l p
1964-1965 c e
1966-1967 e p
1970-1973 b e o p
1989-1990 o p
1992-1993 o q
1993-1994 o q
On 16 July 1901 one Mr Hinds, a publican arranged a public meeting at the Drill Hall in Barrow-in-Furness to garner support for a football club. £280 in subscriptions was raised and Barrow FC was born. Two months later the new club was admitted to the Lancashire League and played their first match against Blackpool in front of 4,000 spectators. The season brought a financial loss, a perennial feature of Barrow’s existence. Faced with stiff competition from the town's rugby league side and given their geographical isolation, life was destined to be a constant struggle.
In 1921 Barrow won the Lancashire Combination and successfully applied to join the new Football League Third Division (North). They kicked off their League campaign at home against Stockport County, losing 0-2. The club’s priorities were about survival and it was not until the late 1960s that they achieved promotion.
The town’s main, indeed practically only, employer after the steelworks closed after the end of World War II was the Vickers Armstrong Company whose shipyard built warships and submarines for the Royal Navy. During the Forties and Fifties only generous donations from the company kept the club in being.
In the early Sixties, Barrow adopted white shirts and blue shorts and for the first time, the coat of arms of Barrow in Furness was worn on the new shirts.
In 1967, Barrow won promotion for the first and only time, finishing third in Division Four. The following year they finished eighth in Division Three, their highest ever placing. It would be all downhill from here. A disastrous campaign in 1969-70 lead to relegation and in 1972, the club faced re-election for the eleventh time. Never a popular destination for visiting fans or players, Barrow's lack of ambition finally caught up with them and they lost out to Hereford United whose FA Cup exploits had captured the public imagination. Barrow joined the Northern Premier League and despite leading a constant hand to mouth existence, the club continued to draw a small but loyal support.
The infamous speedway track that separated supporters from the pitch was finally removed in 1974 and in 1981 the team won the Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy. In 1990 Barrow won the FA Trophy, their first major honour, adding the club crest to their shirts to celebrate.
In 1995 the club was bought by Stephen Vaughan who poured in money to build an all-seated stadium. Vaughan, who had serious criminal associates, was under investigation for money laundering and in 1998 he left, withdrawing his financial support but not before the Holker Street ground had been sold to a company that he had an interest in. Vaughan's subsequent career involved overseeing the ruination of Chester City FC, convictions for VAT fraud and a prison sentence for police assault as well as some very dubious deaings at Bangor City AFC.
In 1999 a liquidator was appointed to oversee the running of the club pending its dissolution and Barrow were expelled from the Conference. With the support of the FA a new members' company was formed and Barrow were permitted to join the Northern Premier League almost a month after the new season had started. Despite the club remaining in administration, the team performed well and once the legal disputes over the ownership of Holker Street were resolved in 2002, the members' company was able to buy the ground from the liquidator and a year later the FA allowed their football membership to be transferred from the liquidator to the members' company. In 2010 Barrow won the FA Trophy for the second time.
In May 2014 the members voted to sell the club to Dallas businessman, Paul Casson who set the goal of a return to the Football League. Barrow were promoted to the Conference National at the end of the following season. After several seasons of consolidation, Casson stepped down in November 2018 and a new management team made up of local businessmen and supporters took on the running of the club.
In March 2020 Barrow were sitting four points clear at the top of the National League when all professional football was suspended with nine matches remaining. In April the clubs voted to end the season with final placings decded on a points-per-game basis. In June, it was confirmed that Barrow would be promoted to League Two after an absence of 48 years.
- (a) Nelson FC
- (b) Galleries of English Football Cards
- (c) Workington AFC - Images of Sport (Paul Eade 2003)
- (d) Football Focus
- (e) barrowfc.com
- (f) The Football Encyclopaedia (Associated Sporting Press 1934) Information provided by Arthur Fergus
- (g) Rejected FC (Dave Twydell) - information provided by Greger Lindberg.
- (h) Association of Football Statisticians - provided by Pete Wyatt
- (i) Ralph Pomeroy
- (j) Keith Ellis
- (k) Christopher Worrall
- (l) Simon Monks
- (m) Peter Stevenson
- (n) Barrow AFC.net submitted by Peter Naylor
- (o) Peter Naylor & Paul Daly
- (p) pickclick.co.uk
- (q) Old Football Shirts