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Friday, 03 July 2015

THE RAIDING PARTY: A fitting finale for Barrow Raiders

A PACKED audience at The Nines saw Liam Harrison sweep the board last Friday and lift the club’s major player-of-the-year awards.

Andy Dawson (Young Player-of-the-Year) and James Gordon (Most Improved Player) were also among the winners.

A full report appeared in Monday’s Evening Mail, so there is little point repeating it here, suffice to say all the 2012 squad deserve plaudits for their magnificent season.

The night capped a great year for Liam, as earlier in the week he was named the RL World Championship One Player-of-the-Year and he is a major contender for the Barrow Borough Sports Council’s sportsman-of-the-year award.

The winner of that prestigious honour will be announced at the Forum on November 8 and Liam will be hoping for a double success, because Barrow Raiders are also on the shortlist for the open age team of the year.

The following Wednesday (November 14) sees the end of the club’s early bird season ticket offer. Almost 100 supporters have already pledged their support for next year by buying one of the cut-price tickets, and it would be nice if this interest could be accelerated and a final figure of 300 reached prior to the deadline. Priced at just £135 for adults and £90 for concessions, the tickets make an ideal Christmas present for the hard-to-buy-for Raiders fan.

With money tight in the present economic climate, it is surely an offer which is hard to resist. The tickets and more details are available from the Rugby Shop, Scott Street.

We are always looking at new and innovative ways to raise money, and fellow director Allan Park is organising a “Hell’s Kitchen” dinner to generate income for the Development Fund.

Several Barrow first-team players will be donning their chef’s hats for the event, which promises to be hugely entertaining.

I will write more about it next week when I should be able to give exact details.

On the subject of the Development Fund, I was presented with a couple of cheques (totalling around £1,800) at the awards evening and this cash will be put straight into the fund, earmarked to be spent on new floodlights during 2013.

The floodlights are probably the most important issue facing the club next year and it is absolutely vital that the £100,000 needed to replace them is somehow found. We are exploring several possible sources of grants, but the bottom line is, if these don’t come through then we have to raise the cash ourselves.

I have made several previous requests for fans to enlist as members of the Development Fund and it is without any shame at all that I again implore people to get involved.

By pledging just a few pounds a month you really can make a difference. Less than 100 supporters currently do this, but they generate an income of around £1,000 a month, every single penny of which is spent on ground improvements.

If we could simply double the number of members, then we would be well on our way with regard to the new floodlights. Details are available at the Rugby Shop and on the club website. With regard to the new lights, failure is not an option. We simply must replace the existing lights or face demotion from the Championship.

Together, I am confident we can do it.

And remember – the future is bright; the future is blue and white.

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