Saturday, May 11 will be a date engrained in the minds of dozens of Barrow AFC fans as the impending Keswick to Barrow and Coniston to Barrow walks approach.

At this time of year, there are always plenty of walkers out and about in the town and outlying countryside trying to get miles through their legs for one of the toughest local endurance events on the calendar.

Once again, Barrow AFC supporters have submitted several teams. More than 20 of our fans will be taking on the walks, raising money in the process for three excellent charities in the Bluebirds Trust, Mind in Furness and The Brain Tumour Charity.

The latter of these charities will in particular be close to the hearts of many of our supporters this year as passionate Bluebird Gary McFarlane continues his fight against ill health.

On behalf on Barrow AFC, I’d like to offer our thoughts to Gary and his family at a very difficult and stressful time.

These personal connections are what make charitable donations so poignant for our supporters.

Only by seeing an illness, a volunteer group or a research effort up close can we really appreciate the hard work and dedication that our society puts in to combat disease and inequality, often with little recognition or resource.

That’s why I urge all Barrow supporters who are able to give generously to our walkers.

Over the past two years our teams have raised more than £6,500 and I know our organiser, Al Boyle, is keen for us to keep pace with previous efforts!

One way in which this can be done is by putting in bids for a Jason Taylor or Dan Jones match day shirt, generously donated by Phil Collier.

Bids can be submitted by email to before 9pm on May 12. Please state which shirt you’re bidding for as the highest bidder on each will receive their chosen shirt.

We also have a collection bucket at the club reception and are able to process online donations so please get in touch with myself or any of the walkers to ask for these details.

Events like the Keswick to Barrow bring out the best in our fan base and our residents.

As somebody brave enough to take on several K2B walks myself, I’m always struck by the sense of community that permeates the entire day. I have no doubt it will be the same again this year.

*Having been more organised than usual, I’m writing this week’s column from the Bluebirds Trust shop at Holker Street on Sunday morning.

Out on the pitch, several junior and senior finals are taking place both today and over the next two weeks.

It’s great to see the facilities at Holker Street being used for these games.

For many of the players, it will be their only chance to play at this ground and should provide great memories. It also cements Barrow AFC as being at the heart of our community and in particular the local football community.

This commitment to generating interest in Barrow AFC among our younger fan base is exemplified in the announcement last week of our season ticket prices for the 2019/20 season.

Under-16s are priced at £25 and Under-21s at £75, which is just over £1 and £3 per game, respectively. Additionally, all standard season ticket holders will be able to claim a free under-12s season ticket.

Barrow AFC needs to become a sustainable football club. To achieve that objective, it’s never been more crucial that we engage our younger fans.

Opening the pitch at Holker Street for local games and pricing ourselves competitively on match days are important first steps in the process.

*One of my personal highlights of any off-season is the launch of the new kits.

This year, we debuted our kits at the club’s annual Presentation Night, so by now most fans have had a chance to see the new range – including what we believe to be a first with the club’s striking green away strip.

This season felt like the right time to review and refresh our existing arrangements with suppliers. The new kits will be made by Joma and the club have also furthered our commitment to embedding into the local community by partnering with 17Sport.

Pricing was looked at closely by our new ownership and the club are pleased to be able to offer a reduction on adult shirts to £35 for the coming season, in addition to offering full kids kits and – for the first time – kids goalkeeping kits. A full range of leisurewear will also be available in time for the summer.

All kits are available now for online pre-order and the club are aiming to take delivery during May. We look forward to your feedback on the new range which is hopefully a much refreshed and improved offering, both in the style and also the pricing and purchasing experience.