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Saturday, 25 October 2014

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Barrow AFC hero Housham plots former club’s demise

BARROW AFC cup hero Steve Housham says he will ‘throw sentiment out of the window’ when he crosses swords with the Bluebirds at The Northolme tonight (7.45pm).

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MEMORABLE MOMENT Steve Housham applauds the Barrow AFC contingent at Oldham after he scored in a 1-1 FA Cup draw back in 2001 REF: 0106346

The 36-year-old Gainsborough boss enjoyed a successful three-year spell at Barrow between 2000-03, when his attacking style from midfield made him a popular figure among the Holker Street faithful.

Housham initially arrived on loan from Scunthorpe in the 1999-2000 campaign, before turning down The Iron’s offer of a new one-year deal to make the move permanent at the end of that season.

Now he is on a collision course with Barrow for the first time since leaving the club to join Brigg Town.

“I have happy memories of playing at Barrow AFC,” said Housham, whose side face the Bluebirds in the FA Trophy quarter-finals.

“It was unfortunate that we were always up there in the league table (the old Unibond Premier Division) but we never managed to get promoted.

“But we always gave the fans something to shout about, enjoyed a few cup runs, plus I gave my best for the club and scored a few goals.

“When I joined Barrow I could have stayed with Scunthorpe or joined Gainsborough, but the Barrow fans made up my mind because they were so fantastic to me. They are an ambitious club and I was really pleased they got up to the Conference Premier.

“I still know the chairman Brian Keen and he has done a fantastic job, so it will be good to see him and a few of the other directors I also know.

“But my main aim is to get Gainsborough through to the semi-finals because we want to make a bit of history.

“So sentiment will have to go out of the window, but my heart will always be with the Barrow fans.”

Highlights from Housham’s Barrow career included scoring in the club’s memorable 1-1 FA Cup first-round draw at Oldham Athletic in November 2001, before the Bluebirds went down 2-0 in the replay.

“I played for Scunthorpe when they won the Division Three play-off final in 1999, but scoring that goal at Boundary Park in a game we should have won, is right up there in terms of my career highlights.

“I remember looking up and seeing the Barrow fans shouting and screaming – they were a fantastic group.

“Scoring against Shrewsbury in the FA Cup was also a highlight (Barrow lost that second-round away tie 3-1 in December 2002).”

Housham has transformed Gainsborough’s fortunes since replacing Brian Little in the manager’s hot-seat in September 2011.

Working with his assistant and former Barrow team-mate, Lee Warren, the former meter reader guided Trinity from the lower reaches of the Conference North to the play-off final, where they were beaten 1-0 Nuneaton Town last May.

Now they are bracing themselves for another play-off campaign as they currently sit fifth in the table – and hope to extend their best-ever run in the Trophy having already seen off Blue Square Bet Premier duo Forest Green Rovers and Tamworth.

But Housham added: “We’re expecting a tough game especially as Barrow have just beaten Luton, Gateshead and Newport.

“But there’s no pressure on my lads, so I hope they can thrive on being the under-dog.”

Have your say

No sentiments here either Stevie boy,it's war it's business,it's all out determination, at least for 90 minutes.

Posted by captain bluebirdseye on 5 February 2013 at 19:00

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