The Prime Minister’s announcement that supporters could be allowed to return to stadiums from October with the further easing of lockdown restrictions will come as a huge boost to the two main sports clubs in Barrow.

Neither Barrow AFC or Barrow Raiders have been in action since the first weekend of March and both feared the prospect of having to play behind closed doors due to the lost revenue and the costs that would involve.

For the Bluebirds, it’s especially significant, as next season will be their first in the English Football League since 1972 and season ticket sales have been soaring as a result.

They have already sold more in just two days than they did in the whole of last summer and could be set for some bumper crowds in League Two.

The intention to pilot larger gatherings inside stadiums next month is something that could benefit the Raiders, as rugby league has been lobbying the Government to use the sport as a guinea pig for the reintroduction of spectators.

Chairman Steve Neale said: “A lot of clubs have been talking to their local MPs, myself included, about bringing in socially distanced crowds, mainly because of the size of the crowds against capacity. There’s so much room inside rugby league grounds, so this is really good news.

"Obviously, a lot of the clubs have been pushing and we've also been approaching our local testing centre down at the docks, so we're just waiting for the result of that."