Blast from the Past: The golden era of Barrow RLFC

After the conclusion of the Second World War and the return of rugby league in 1945/46, Barrow enjoyed the most successful period in their history.

Many of the pre-war players by this time had retired, so this was an era of rebuilding and recruiting. Some of this new generation would go on to become star names, such as Willie Horne, Jimmy Lewthwaite, Phil Jackson, Dennis Goodwin, Frank Castle and Reg Parker.

Willie Horne played 461 matches for Barrow, scoring 113 tries and 739 goals which was the club record, until it was surpassed by current coach Darren Holt.

Horne captained Barrow to three Wembley cup finals (including the 1955 Barrow cup winning side) and he also captained Lancashire, England and Great Britain, including the 1952 winning Great Britain Ashes side.

Horne became a rugby league legend and in recognition of his service to Barrow RLFC and the town of Barrow -in-Furness, a statue was erected near to Craven Park.

The 1954/55 season was the greatest season in the history of Barrow RLFC, winning both the Challenge Cup against Workington Town (21-12) and the Lancashire Cup against Oldham (12-2).

Barrow were a force to be reckoned with at the time and usually finished in a very respectable place in the Northern Rugby League table.

That was until 1957, when Barrow lost 9-7 to Leeds in the Challenge Cup final of that year. This signalled the end of the golden era in the club’s history, with most of their star players retiring after this time, and the club would never be able to repeat such glory.

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