Vital Rotherham on:
Vital Rotherham on:
Rotherham United have been drawn against Blue Square Premier league team Barrow in the first round proper of the FA Cup at their Holker Street ground.
This will be the first time the two sides have met for twenty-three years and that game was also in the FA Cup but at Millmoor.
To qualify for the first round proper of this competition, the Bluebirds overcame Witton Albion on Saturday with Adam Boyes getting all four goals in a four-one win.
Barrow were founded in 1901 joining the Football League (Third Division North) in the 1921/2 season, becoming one of the league’s founder members.
Their highest finish before WW11 was eighth in the 1922/4 season and became founder members of Football League Division Four in the 1958/9 season. In the late 60’s Barrow finally got promoted and the highest position they ever got was when they were top of Division Three for one day in 1967/8.
Barrow got relegated in 1970 and twice had to apply for re-election and in 1971/2 they were voted out of the Football League with Barrow’s geographic isolation, Hereford United’s historic FA Cup victory against Newcastle United and the decision of the Barrow board to introduce a speedway track around pitch at Holker Street, as a means of off-setting financial difficulties all being ‘blamed’ as contributing factors for their relegation. (The speedway track actually remained until 1974!)
After struggling along for some years in the Northern Premier League, Barrow were invited to join the new Alliance Premier League in 1979 and in 1981 the club won the Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy. After relegation and promotion and relegation again the club finally won promotion back to the re-named Vauxhall Conference in the 1988/9 season. The club had a few good cup runs including getting to the First Round of the FA Cup in 1988 losing to three-one to Rotherham at Millmoor.
In 1990 Barrow beat Leak Town at Wembley in the FA Trophy, the following season making it to the third round of the FA Cup for the first time in their non-league history, losing one-nil to Bolton Wanderers. The Bluebirds were relegated again and spent three years in the Northern Premier League achieving promotion to the Conference in 1997-98, under manager Owen Brown.
In January 1999 the club were the subject of a winding up order when a liquidator was appointed to run the club and eventually a new members’ company was formed with the aim of providing financial support to the club and with the long term intention of taking over the running of the football club. Despite avoiding relegation Barrow were thrown out of the Football Conference in the summer and after a long dispute, and with thanks to the Football Association, Barrow were allowed entrance into the Northern Premier League for the 1999/2000 season, a month after the season had started.
With having to a months’ games in, Barrow played Winsford United on 30th December 1999 and this is now in the records as the last professional or semi-professional game in the United Kingdom of the millennium.
In the following years Barrow, still in administration, went close to getting promotion back to the Conference twice and legal disputes over the ownership of Holker Street were finally resolved in the summer of 2002 and the new members company were finally able to buy the stadium from the liquidator, the Football Association finally allowed the ‘football membership’ to be transferred to the new company the following year.
In the 2003/4 season Lee Turnbull took charge of the Bluebirds took the club to third place in the Uni Bond Premier Division, as well as winning the President’s Cup. The following season the club joined, what is now, the Blue Square North and had two very mediocre seasons, narrowly escaping relegation at the end of the 2006/7 season and in November 2007 players Paul Jones, David Bayliss and Darren Sheridan took charge of first team affairs. After a run of good results Bayliss and Sheridan became joint player-managers while Jones became club captain.
In the 2008/9 season, the club maintained its place in Blue Square Premier and enjoyed a run to the Third round proper of the F.A. Cup which saw seven thousand fans make the trip to the Riverside Stadium where the Bluebirds were narrowly defeated by Middlesbrough, two-one. To get to play Middlesbrough, Barrow beat Brentford, two-one which was shown live on Setanta Sports TV – a Brentford side that was managed by a certain Andy Scott!
The following season the club put together a great run, after a tough start, they went on a run of losing just once in sixteen games. The club also reached the third round proper of the FA Cup again, this time taking on Sunderland but losing three-nil. Barrow got to the final of the FA Trophy Final beating Stevenage Borough after extra time at Wembley.
Former Miller, Andy Nicholas, joined the Bluebirds in the summer of 2010 and has made six league appearances so far this season.
RUFC – So what do we know about Barrow?
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