At the end of his two years with Barrow AFC, Josh Granite is able to look back on what is a real highlight of his career.

As club captain, Granite has been part of a remarkable rise with the Bluebirds, which has gone from being a club that was starting to look down rather than up to one that is preparing for a long-awaited return to the English Football League.

Unfortunately for the 28-year-old, AFC are making plans for League Two without him after he was one of five players to be released by the club last week.

He will still, however, hold them close to his heart after making 38 appearances during his time at Holker Street, where he feels he became a better footballer under former manager Ian Evatt and his staff.

Granite said: “This past season has been a highlight of my time there due to us being successful on the pitch, but I think my time at the club wasn’t so much different from the first year.

“I loved my time with the club in my first year - I played a bit more due to less injuries, that obviously helped.

“But I loved the time I had in my first year and I loved the success that we had in the second year.

“Playing a part in that is something no-one will ever be able to take away from me and after helping get that club back into the Football League, I hope it stays there for a long, long time.

“I can look back and think I played my part as much as I could when I wasn’t injured and as much as I could when I was injured to ensure that we did get promoted.”

Granite will be remembered by Bluebirds supporters for playing on despite a broken collarbone and dislocated shoulder against Sutton United last November to prevent his team from going down to nine men in that game.

He was also known for making time for the fans before home games and he has received messages of thanks from those grateful for how he engaged with those who have followed their team through thick and thin.

Granite said: “It’s a club I’m going to hold very close to my heart forever.

“I met some amazing people and I fell in love with the town.

“I love the place - I love Walney - and a lot of people looked out for me and I like to think I reciprocated that and did a lot for the fans when asked upon and went the extra mile for the supporters to be a normal person and be a face they could speak to.

“I made a big effort to make sure that I always gave time and effort to people who wanted it and I think a lot of people gave me a lot of time and help up there.

“I’ve spoken to quite a lot of people who made my time special at Barrow and I’d like to thank them, wish them well and tell them that I won’t be a stranger - I’ll be getting up to join in with the celebrations and be there as much as I can.”