Barry Postlethwaite

Tue, Mar 8th 2016 at 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm

Barrow AFC's former Director of Football (seen above with Past President Steve Murray)

Events behind the scenes at Holker Street were revealed to Barrow Rotary Club members when Barry Postlethwaite, who had been assistant to the Barrow AFC manager, was a guest speaker.

He explained how in 2005 he replied to an advert to be manager of the Reserves team as he saw it as a good step up from looking after the Kirkby United team.

He saw it as better players and a better ground – but the then manager, Phil Wilson, never spoke to him, even if they passed in the corridor.

“But it all changed when it was clear he was getting the sack,” Barry said. “All of a sudden I was his best mate. He needed someone to talk to and it was me.”

Then Dave Bayliss, Darren Sheridan and Paul Jones were joint manager for a spell before Jones stepped down.

“Bayles and Shez then took over and we had that remarkable run of being unbeaten in 22 games, gaining promotion by winning the play-off final at Burton Albion’s ground.

“At half-time as we gathered in the dressing-room and the game was still goalless, Paul Jones entered with a broken nose, a battered face and a black eye.

“Jonah said ‘We can win this’ and looking at what he had been through, there was no way anyone was going to give less than 100 per  cent. No one dared to let down a warrior like Jonah; they would have been in real trouble.”

He talked about the career of Sheridan after being released by Leeds because they considered him too small. “He thought it was the end of the world and he let his life slip but at the age of 26 he sorted himself out and was playing for Bradford in the Premier League.

“He was sent off at Anfield but that was more about his passion for the game then deliberately doing something dirty.”

Barry also recalled a trip with Barrow to Oxford. “We had a reasonably sized party and while the players were under the responsibility of a director the night before the game, I went for a drink with Bayles and Shez.

“Shez must have drunk the best part of a bottle of wine – but with the number of players in the party, that was no problem.

“However in the morning two players reported unwell so Shez had to be named on the bench. Then, horror of horrors, a midfield player was injured after just 20 minutes and Shez was the only mid-fielder on the bench and had to go on.

“How did he do? Typical of Shez, he turned in a man-of-the-match performance, he was such a good player.”


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