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Thursday, 24 April 2014

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The highlight of my career

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CUP WINNER: Colin Cowperthwaite holds the FA Trophy aloft in 1990

TWENTY years on, the man voted Barrow AFC’s all-time greatest player, Colin Cowperthwaite, still struggles to put into words what it meant to play at Wembley.

The legendary striker scored one of his 282 Barrow career goals when the Bluebirds beat Leek Town 3-0 in the 1990 FA Trophy final.

“You can’t put into words what it meant to play at Wembley – it was just such a marvellous experience,” said Cowps, who made a club record 704 appearances for Barrow and is nicknamed God amongst supporters.

“It meant so much to all of us, the whole experience.

“It was the highlight of my career. Everybody wants to play at Wembley, to score a goal at Wembley, and I was lucky enough to do that.”

Cowperthwaite’s flying header, following a Steve Higgins cross and a Paul Ferris flick-on, was Barrow’s second goal on that famous day.

He said: “On the bus going to the final I was interviewed and was reminded that I hadn’t scored on the road to Wembley. I said ‘I know that, I’ll try to put it right today.’

“Even now though I can’t put it into words how it actually felt doing it.”

Cowperthwaite, who turned 51 in April, is modest about his outstanding achievements in a Barrow shirt. He doesn’t regard himself as the club’s greatest ever, instead preferring to heap praise on other players, including the club’s current goal ace, Jason Walker.

“I don’t think I was the best ever player,” said Cowperthwaite, who, like he was 1990, is still a Flookburgh-based painter and decorator.

“I played a lot of games and scored a lot of goals, but I played with some marvellous players. The best I played with was Kenny Lowe (AFC’s key creative midfielder).

“Also, look at the Barrow lads now, to get from where they were a couple of seasons ago, to where they are now is a marvellous feat. We had our day, now let’s hope the lads go down there and win it. I really hope they win it.

“In Jason they have a top boy. He lives just round the corner from me. I’ve known Jase since when he was eight or nine years old. I was talking to his mother recently about Wembley. She is really excited, the whole village is excited.

“He’s such a nice lad, he deserves everything he gets does Jason. We once played together up front for Cartmel when I was finishing playing and he was just starting. I did all his running, though he’ll tell you it was the other way round!”

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