Barrow Raiders

Last updated

Barrow Raiders
Barrow Raiders logo.png
Club information
Full nameBarrow Rugby League Football Club Ltd
Nickname(s)Raiders
Colours Barrowcolours.svg
Founded1875;146 years ago (1875)
Website barrowrlfc.com
Current details
Ground(s)
ChairmanSteve Neale
Coach Paul Crarey
Competition League 1
2019 RFL Championship 13th
Rugby football current event.png Current season
Uniforms
Kit left arm whiteborder.png
Kit left arm.svg
Kit body chevron white.png
Kit body.svg
Kit right arm whiteborder.png
Kit right arm.svg
Kit shorts.svg
Kit socks whitestripe.png
Kit socks long.svg
Home colours
Kit left arm.svg
Kit body.svg
Kit right arm.svg
Kit shorts.svg
Kit socks whitestripe.png
Kit socks long.svg
Away colours
Records
Challenge Cups '1 (1954–55)
Lancashire County Cup 2 (1954–55, 1982-83)
Second Division 2 (1975–76, 2009)
National League Two 1 (2004)
League 1 Cup 1 (2017)
Highest points scorer' - Darren Holt 2,403

The Barrow Raiders are a semi-professional rugby league team in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, England. The club was formed in 1875 as Barrow Football Club. For the 1995-96 and 1996 seasons the club was known as Barrow Braves, becoming the Barrow Border Raiders for the 1997 season following a merger with Carlisle Border Raiders, dropping the Border part of the name in 2002 to become the Barrow Raiders.

Contents

Barrow Raiders compete in RFL League 1, the bottom tier of rugby league, after being relegated from the RFL Championship in 2019. [2]

History

Early years

A Barrow side met the 1921 Kangaroos in a tour match Sh 1921 kangaroos.jpg
A Barrow side met the 1921 Kangaroos in a tour match

Barrow Football Club was formed in 1875 and played its first home game on 4 December of that year against the Royal Grammar School, Lancaster, at Cavendish Park on Barrow Island, then home to the town's cricket club. [3] It is thought that Tom H. Baynes, a shipping clerk, was the driving force behind the club's foundation. As well as being a player, he was probably also the first Barrow team coach. Early practice matches games were played in "a field loaned by a local farmer" as well as the Parade Ground and the aforementioned Cavendish Park.

At the 1883 annual general meeting, Cavendish Park got the vote over the Parade Ground as a permanent home on account of its better playing surface. [3] The first grandstand there was erected in 1893, and another one in 1893.

In April 1897, the team switched from rugby union to rugby league following a unanimous vote at the club. Barrow joined the Second Division of the Lancashire Senior Competition and became champions in their first season. They lost a test match against Morecambe, the bottom club in the First Division, however, and failed to gain promotion.[ citation needed ] They were eventually promoted at the end of the 1899–1900 season, by defeating Tyldesley in the test match.[ citation needed ]

In 1908, the club nearly doubled their attendance record to 12,000 in a third round Challenge Cup match against Hunslet. [3]

In 1914, Cavendish Park was requisitioned by the authorities for the war effort. Barrow moved to Little Park, Roose, three miles from the centre of town. The first match there was a 31–2 victory over Bramley. The league at this time was suspended and clubs were forced to arrange their own fixtures in an unofficial war league. Boosted by an influx of players and spectators into the local shipyards for war production, Barrow became one of the dominant teams of the war period, winning the unofficial championship title in 1917-18 losing just twice in 22 matches.

Interwar Period and move to Craven Park

Willie Horne started his career at Barrow Willie Horne - geograph.org.uk - 484971.jpg
Willie Horne started his career at Barrow

After World War I, Barrow had mixed fortunes and when the league resumed in 1919–20, they managed to finish fifth. However, over the next decade, despite having several county and national players, Barrow's form suffered and its league position was poor.

In 1929, it had been realised that rugby league in Barrow was approaching a precarious period, as the attendances at Little Park were gradually decreasing. This was in part due to industrial depression but also Little Park's location. The directors made an appeal to the town, and approached the mayor, Alderman John Whinnerah who was to be an ardent supporter. Commander G. W. Craven, a local war hero, started an appeal fund with a donation of £500. In a short time the club bought a central site, where the Jute Works stood for £2,500. Craven Park was built in 1931, largely as a result of the efforts of supporters, 500 of whom volunteered to construct the ground. The total cost of the building project came to £7,500 (based on increases in average earnings, this would be approximately £1,251,000 in 2013). [4]

1937–38 saw Barrow reach the finals of the Lancashire County Cup for the first time, losing narrowly 4–8 to Warrington. That season was a time of great opportunity for the Barrow team but was to end in disappointment. After playing seven matches in just ten days, they lost 7–4 to Salford in the final of the Challenge Cup at Wembley; they also lost in the Championship play-off semi-final 13–7 against Hunslet. A new attendance record was set in that season – 21,651 in the Good Friday game against Salford.

Post Second World War

Craven Park, the current home of Barrow Raiders Craven Park, Barrow.jpg
Craven Park, the current home of Barrow Raiders

Barrow dropped out of the wartime Lancashire league in 1940–41, they did not return to league competition until 1945–46. As many of the pre-war players had retired, this was an era of rebuilding and recruiting.

The 1950s were the club's heyday. The team was captained by Willie Horne and Barrow appeared no less than three times at Wembley. On 5 May 1951, Barrow made their second appearance at Wembley and were beaten 10–0 by Wigan. On Saturday 27 October 1951 13,319 spectators were at Barrow to watch the home side beat New Zealand 9–5. On 30 April 1955, Barrow made their third appearance at Wembley. This time, they won the Challenge Cup 21–12 against Workington Town, later that year they added the Lancashire Cup after a 12–2 win over Oldham.

On 11 May 1957, Barrow played again in the Challenge Cup final at Wembley against Leeds and were narrowly beaten 9–7. 1957 signalled the end of the golden era of the club and most of the star players retired after this time.

The league split into two divisions in 1961–62 and because of a poor finish in the previous season, Barrow was forced to play in the second division.

In 1963, Jim Challinor moved to Barrow and became their player-coach.

Their last appearance at Wembley Stadium was in 1967, where they were strongly tipped to win the Challenge Cup final again, but were beaten by Featherstone Rovers 17–12. A crowd of 77,000 paid a then record £54,435 to watch the game (based on increases in average earnings, this would be approximately £1,625,000 in 2013). [4]

1973 saw Barrow appoint former player, Frank Foster, as coach. He built a side which won the Second Division championship in 1975–76 and reached a John Player Trophy final in 1981 only to lose 5–12 to Warrington. Phil Hogan was transferred to Hull Kingston Rovers in 1978 for a then world record fee of £33,000 (based on increases in average increases, this would be approximately £249,700 in 2013). [4]

Barrow fluctuated between divisions but had three consecutive years in the top flight between 1980 and 1983. Frank Foster was eventually replaced by Tommy Dawes in 1983.

The season 1983–84 saw Barrow win the Second Division title and the Lancashire Cup against favourites Widnes 12–8. The entire Barrow team was inducted into the Barrow Hall of Fame in 2003. Tommy Dawes, despite his initial success, was sacked in 1985.

In 1988–89, Australian Rod Reddy took on a player-coach role at Barrow in 1987. Barrow earned promotion to Division One but that campaign saw Barrow manage only one league win and suffer a club record 90–0 defeat at Leeds. Reddy was sacked and Denis Jackson took over as a caretaker coach for the rest of 1989–90.

After relegation in 1990, Barrow appointed a new coach in Steve Norton but finished 17th out of 21 in Division Two.

Summer era

Barrow Raiders player, Zeb Luisi attempting to tackle Shaun Ainscough of Wigan Shaun ainscough try for wigan vs barrow (05-04-09).JPG
Barrow Raiders player, Zeb Luisi attempting to tackle Shaun Ainscough of Wigan

In 1996, the first tier of British rugby league clubs played the inaugural Super League season and changed from a winter to a summer season. [5] When the Super League competition had been proposed, part of the deal was that some traditional clubs would merge. Barrow were down to merge with Whitehaven, Workington Town and Carlisle to form a new club called Cumbria based in Workington which would compete in the Super League but ultimately this did not happen and Barrow were not part of the new competition.

Until 1995 the team was simply titled Barrow RLFC, but they adopted the nickname Barrow Braves to coincide with rugby league's switch to a summer season. Peter Roe was head coach for a 15-month period, ending in January 1996.

Barrow Border Raiders (1997-2002)

In 1997 they merged with Cumbrian rivals Carlisle to form Barrow Border Raiders. Carlisle's Paul Charlton became coach of the new team. The new team played all its matches in Barrow; the merger was essentially a financial arrangement only. Barrow enjoyed mixed fortunes under Paul Charlton with two top-ten finishes in the Northern Ford Premiership in 1999 and 2000, before the club's fortunes took a turn for the worse in the 2001 season, which resulted in Paul Charlton not being offered a new contract. In 2002, the Border part of the name, which was never particularly relevant to South Cumbria-based Barrow, was dropped.

Barrow Raiders (2002 - 2010)

Under Peter Roe's second spell at Craven Park, they were National League Two champions in 2004, their first trophy for 20 years. They were promoted to National League One. However, they were relegated back to National League Two at the end of the 2005 season after winning just one of their 18 matches. The financial situation at the club forced a review of the coaching structure and the position of head coach was made part-time and the club parted company with Peter Roe. In October 2005, local ex-player Paul Crarey was appointed as head coach. In his first season as coach of the Raiders he guided them to the National League Two play-offs on a very limited budget. After the end of the 2007 season, Paul Crarey controversially resigned from Barrow Raiders, after guiding them to a second successive play-off position.

Barrow had initially lined up former Widnes coach Steve McCormack to take over until he received a better position with struggling Super League club Hull KR. On Thursday 2 November 2007 Barrow Raiders announced that former player Welsh-born Aussie Dave Clarke would take over, with Dean Marwood as his assistant. On 23 August 2008, Raiders gained automatic promotion from National League Two by beating Swinton 12–32 to clinch second place in National League Two.

On 5 April 2009, a crowd of 6275 watched Barrow play Super League club Wigan in the best attended match in recent years. [6] Barrow held out but were eventually defeated 32-20. On 21 July Despite the club being 2nd in the league and having made the Northern Rail Cup Final coach Dave Clarke stepped down and became assistant to new head coach Steve Deakin.

On 31 August 2009, after just 6 weeks in charge, Steve Deakin left the club and Dave Clarke reclaimed the head coach role, leading the club to the 2009 Co-Op Championship league leaders trophy and a grand final appearance versus Halifax. In the 2009 Co-Op Championship Grand Final, a 77th minute try settled the game and Barrow beat Halifax 26-18 to claim the Championship title..

Barrow finished fourth in 2010 with coach Steve McCormack leaving the club to take up a teaching post. After a lengthy search for a new coach, Barrow appointed Garry Schofield.

2011 Season and Relegation to Championship 1

Barrow's application to join the then franchised Super League, after their Championship Grand Final win in 2009, was rejected early in the 2011 season as it was deemed the club did not the meet minimum requirements. [7]

Head Coach Schofield was sacked as coach after only five games in 2011 and his assistant Nigel Wright was appointed in his place. With 6 games to go in July Barrow sacked Nigel Wright and appointed former player Dave Clarke as their manager for the rest of the season.

Rule Breaches and RFL Charges

The on-field problems were matched by off-field difficulties, with the club accused of breaking salary cap rules. A 6-point deduction due to salary cap breaches in the 2010 season, ended any play off hope. [8] At a tribunal in October 2011, claims that the club "systematically breached" the following three rules were upheld. [9]

  • Rule C.1.1.7 - failing to record in player contracts all financial benefits or benefits in kind that a player is receiving;
  • Rule C.1.1.11 - no club or club official shall loan money or goods or make payment or provide any benefit in kind to a player unless they are recorded in the player's contract;
  • Rule D1.8 (f) - misconduct by committing a breach of Championship Salary Cap Regulations.

Their chairman, Des Johnston was banned from any involvement with Rugby League for 8 years [10] and 29 points were deducted for the 2011 season, relegating them to the Co-operative Championship 1.

2012-2017

Success in Championship 1 during 2012 meant that Barrow were promoted directly back up to the Championship the following year. Unable to compete, and after narrowly avoiding relegation in 2013, they were once again relegated at the end of the 2014 season.

At the end of the 2014 season Paul Crarey was re-appointed head coach, replacing Bobbie Goulding. The former player had previously coached the team between 2005-2007. [11]

The team strengthened on the field during three consecutive seasons in, the now renamed League 1 with improving table finishes (2015: 7th) (2016: 5th) (2017: 3rd)

On 27 May 2017, Barrow won the League 1 Cup [12] after defeating North Wales Crusaders 38-32 at Bloomfield Road as an opener to the Summer Bash weekend. At the end of the 2017 season, Barrow secured promotion back to the Championship with a 10-6 play-off win against 2nd place Cumbrian rivals Whitehaven. [13]

Return to Championship (2018 - 2019)

Barrow achieved a better than expected start to the 2018 season with strong results on the field including holding League favourites Toronto to a draw. [14] However, the club faced significant financial issues. For the second time in just over 5 years, chairman David Sharpe announced significant short term cash flow issues. [10] [15] Steve Neale replaced Sharpe as chairman stating that there was a "bright future for the club" after raising short term funds. [16] Barrow finished their inaugural Championship season in 10th place avoiding risk of relegation.

The following season, Barrow were once again relegated to RFL League 1 after a 68-2 defeat against Toronto Wolfpack on 1 September 2019. [17]

Back in League 1 (2020 - present day)

After relegation from the Championship in 2019, Barrow started their return to life in League 1 with a 32-22 victory over Doncaster on 1 March 2020. [18]

On 16 March the structure and timing of the competition was placed in doubt as all rugby league games were suspended until 3 April at least as part of the United Kingdom's response to the coronavirus pandemic. [19] The suspension of the season was extended to indefinite. [20]

A discussion between the RFL and club officials in May saw seven of the 11 clubs reject a suggestion that the season could recommence with games being played behind closed doors. [21] The RFL board met on 20 July and having consulted with the League 1 clubs decided to abandon the 2020 season as the majority of clubs did not support playing behind closed doors. [22] At the date of suspension only two rounds of matches had been played and the season was declared null and void . [23]

Grounds

Previous Grounds (1875-1931)

Barrow played their first match in 1875 at Cavendish Park on Barrow Island, the then home of Barrow Cricket Club. The park had two suitable playing areas and until 1883 the new club used the Parade Ground, but then moved to the Athletic Ground as it had a better playing surface for rugby. A first grandstand was built in 1887 for the princely sum of less than £50 to the landlords, The Furness Railway Company. Another grandstand on the opposite side was finished in 1893. On 28 March 1908 a crowd of 12,000 crammed into the ground for a Challenge Cup tie against Hunslet. In 1914 the club decided to move away to Little Park in nearby Roose. In 1920, the club bought Little Park from Lord Richard Cavendish for £3,000 and in the following years put up two grandstands in 1921 and 1924. A record crowd of 12,214 was recorded against Oldham RLFC in a Challenge Cup game on 17 March 1923. Cavendish Park and the Parade Ground is now home to a fire stationm while the Athletic Ground is still used as community playing fields. Little Park was developed for housing.

Craven Park (1931-Present Day)

View of Craven Park prior to removal of NE terrace roof Craven Park, Barrow Raiders RLFC - panoramio (1).jpg
View of Craven Park prior to removal of NE terrace roof

In 1928, the club's committee started to look for a site nearer to the town and found an area on Craven Park. After tipping more than 40,000 tons of fill onto the site previously a derelict Jute Works, reservoirs, railway tracks and mission hall the club moved their main stand from Little Park and built a new stand on Clive Street and officially moved in, in August 1931.

On 15 April 1938, the club's record attendance was established when 21,651 saw them play Salford. In February 1949, storms ripped the entire roof off the main stand and in the early 1950s concrete terracing replaced the old wooden railway sleepers. Floodlights were turned on in November 1966. The ground was renovated in 1991. [3]

In 2015, the roof was removed from the terrace adjacent to Willie Horne Way. This was followed in 2021 with the removal of the condemned Hindpool Road end roof, leaving only two areas of cover in the ground. [24] Plans were also unveiled for a marquee on the terrace next to the main stand. [25]

2021 squad

Barrow Raiders 2021 Squad
First team squadCoaching staff

Head coach

  • Paul Crarey

Assistant coach

  • Steve Rae

Legend:
  • (c) Captain(s)
  • (vc) Vice captain(s)

Updated: 29 January 2021
Source(s): 2021 Squad Numbers

2021 transfers

Gains

PlayerClubContract lengthDate
Flag of England.svg Shaun Lunt Batley Bulldogs 1 YearOctober 2020
Flag of England.svg Adam Walne Huddersfield Giants 1 YearOctober 2020
Flag of England.svg Ben Harrison Unattached 1 YearNovember 2020
Flag of England.svg Joe Sharratt St Helens 1 YearDecember 2020
Flag of England.svg Ryan Shaw Leigh Centurions 2 YearsJanuary 2021
Flag of England.svg Callum Bustin Rotherham Titans 1 YearFebruary 2021
Flag of England.svg Harry Swarbrick Thatto Heath Crusaders 1 YearMarch 2021

Losses

PlayerClubContract LengthDate
Flag of England.svg Lee Jewitt Widnes Vikings 1 YearOctober 2020
Flag of England.svg Perry Singleton Workington Town 1 YearOctober 2020
Flag of England.svg Jono Smith North Wales Crusaders 1 YearOctober 2020
Flag of Papua New Guinea.svg Wartovo Puara Jr PNG Hunters 1 YearOctober 2020
Flag of England.svg Shaun Lunt Retirement N/AFebruary 2021

Players

Hall of Fame

The Barrow club launched its Hall of Fame in 2001 with 1950s legends Willie Horne, Phil Jackson and Jimmy Lewthwaite its inaugural inductees.

Past coaches

Also see Category:Barrow Raiders coaches.

Seasons

Super League era

SeasonLeague Play-offs Challenge Cup Other competitionsNameTriesNamePoints
DivisionPWDLFAPtsPosTop try scorerTop point scorer
1996 Division Two 2250173546511010thR4
1997 Division Two 207013335632148thR4
1998 Division Two 208210354377186thR4
1999 Northern Ford Premiership 28120166607182410thR4
2000 Northern Ford Premiership 28140146477112810thR4
2001 Northern Ford Premiership 28121156316852514thR4
2002 Northern Ford Premiership 27121147076702513thR4
2003 National League Two 181107546419225thLost in Elimination PlayoffsR4
2004 National League Two 181413521346291stR3
2005 National League One 181017299832210thR5
2006 National League Two 2212010599481246thLost in Elimination PlayoffsR5
2007 National League Two 221705769387553rdR5
2008 National League Two 221606703375522ndR5
2009 Championship 201307632261441stWon in FinalR4 Championship Cup RU
2010 Championship 201217607449394thLost in Semi FinalQF
2011 Championship 209011527540011thR4
2012 Championship 1 181404617383452ndLost in FinalR4
2013 Championship 2680184827923312thR4
2014 Championship 2640224628701914thR4
2015 Championship 1 221480661423287thR4 League 1 Cup R2
2016 League 1 211515769375313rdLost in Play-off FinalR3 League 1 Cup R1
2017 League 1 221813731381372ndWon in Promotion FinalQF League 1 Cup W
2018 Championship 2353153828161310thR5
Championship Shield3083194911006195th
2019 Championship 2751214798611113thR4 1895 Cup QF
2020 League 1 League abandoned due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom R4
2021 League 1 0000000TBA

Honours

Club records

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References

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  14. "Full-time whistle report as Barrow Raiders draw 8-8 with Toronto Wolfpack". The Mail. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
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  24. "Toilet acts as unexpected archive for Raiders' 75-year-old treasure". The Mail. Retrieved 12 March 2021.
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