Barrow AFC manager Ian Evatt has heaped praise on Bluebirds Trust chairman Steve Herbert after he hitchhiked his way through Europe last week in a fundraising effort.

Herbert successfully made it from Furness to Cologne, Germany, by hitching lifts off a variety of people, making his through England to Harwich, from where he caught a ferry to the Hook of Holland.

After negotiating his way through the Netherlands, he crossed the German border, reaching Cologne last Friday night before taking in the match between FC Koln and SV Sandhausen the following day.

In the process, Herbert raised £1,350 for the Bluebirds Trust’s Share Contribution scheme, smashing his target of £1,000.

The Trust are now on the brink of raising the £50,000 they need to purchase a ten per cent stake in AFC as part of the new ownership model, with representative Richard Ingham revealing over £47,000 was in the bank.

Evatt said: “It’s brilliant. Steve’s a fantastic guy, a great character, and it’s a magnificent achievement to do what he’s done and hitchhike all the way to Germany – I wouldn’t like to do it.

“Some of the photos I’ve seen off Twitter have been hilarious – he needs to learn how to smile, mind.

“But he’s a credit to himself and the football club, so congratulations to him.”

Evatt was able to talk with the club’s owners in what was a productive board meeting last Friday before the Q&A session in front of Barrow’s supporters in the Cross Bar at Holker Street.

At the event, he made clear that his ultimate aim remains returning the Bluebirds to the Football League for the first time since 1972 and he appreciated the opportunity to interact with those who come through the turnstiles week after week.

Evatt said: “I think it’s important that me, as a manager, and the new board have honesty and clarity and I think that’s what you’re going to get with us.

“We’ll tell it how it is and sometimes it might not be what people want to hear, but it’s the truth. The truth is what’s important.

“Earlier on in the season, I could tell you a thousand tales on what was happening – it wasn’t good but we’re over that now and we’re moving forwards as a group.”