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Wednesday, 01 July 2015

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Former Boro ball boy Winn relishing game on his patch

BARROW AFC midfielder Ashley Winn used to be a star-struck ball boy at Middlesbrough – he now dreams of dumping his old club out of the FA Cup.

Born just five miles away from the Riverside Stadium, Winn signed for the Premiership big guns aged just eight.

He remained with the club throughout his school years and was a ball boy on Boro match days.

Winn – a kids’ football coach who still lives just outside Middlesbrough – is actually a Liverpool fan, but many of his friends and family, including his boss at work, support Barrow’s third round opponents.

Winn, who yesterday celebrated his 23rd birthday, said: “It’s not a bad birthday present, I suppose.

“It’s a good draw. A lot of my friends and family are season ticket holders at Middlesbrough.

“The ball had only just come out of the hat and I was getting text messages from friends saying what a top draw it was, and people asking how many tickets I could get!

“It’s massive for Barrow, just what the club wanted.

“I’ve been to the Riverside a lot. I used to be a ball boy there when I first started as a young lad.

“I know a lot of the lads there and played in the same junior teams as David Wheater, Stewart Downing and Andrew Taylor, so it’s going to be an unbelievable occasion.”

Barrow have already been watched by Middlesbrough assistant manager Malcolom Crosby.

Gareth Southgate’s number two saw the Bluebirds live in a Conference Premier game earlier this season and told Boro’s official club website: “I was impressed by them, so I don’t think it will be easy for one minute.

“It’s a difficult tie, but if you’re at home it’s one you should be happy with.”

It’s the first time Boro have had a home draw at this stage of the competition for four years.

The two clubs have never met in a competitive game before. According to AFC national press officer Phil Yelland the clubs were scheduled to play a mid-season friendly at Holker Street during Kenny Lowe’s time as Barrow manager, but Middlesbrough pulled out a couple of days before the game.

Have your say

I,ve just read the article about Craig Rutherford.
I don,t believe he doesn,t know who to support. He,s obviously a Barrow fan , I,m not questioning that but he was born in Middlesbrough.
For me it,s simple ... he,ll be red, come 3rd January.
I,ve had season tickets at Ajax for 25 years but I wasn,t in Tesco when the draw was made. I wasn,t in the Amsterdam Arena either, watching Ajax at home to Utrecht.
I had lent my tickets to a friend because I had my priorities and loyalties at heart and stayed at home to watch ITV, a nervous wreck and praying for a premier league team.
I,m home at christmas and will be there for the Wrexham game.
The next day I fly back to Amsterdam and then travel to Austria for new year.
Guess what...... this Barrow AFC nut has booked flights , interupted his holiday and will be there at the riverside to see the bluebirds give it their best shot.The next day I,ll resume my hol.
Boro might have it easy in December, playing against Arsenal,Everton and Man Utd..... but come January they are in for a shock.
Lets hope the legion of Barrow fans make it a day to remember.
Good luck and enjoy yourself Craig.

Posted by Gordon on 4 December 2008 at 17:58

I'm over the moon with this draw - I was born in Barrow and spent 18 years there till I moved to Middlesbrough so it will be watching old home town versus new home town.

Posted by Maria Fisher on 3 December 2008 at 18:08

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