A SET of football medals representing the glittering career of a former Barrow AFC played who scored at Wembley stadium in front of 60,000 people have been sold at auction.

The silver and gold medals of Andy McLaren made £1,000 at 1818 Auctioneers, near Crooklands, and featured in an episode of Dickinson’s Real Deal.

McLaren won the War Cup with Preston North End in 1941 and from 1951 to 1954 played 155 games for Barrow, scoring 52 goals.

The medals and a team photograph showing McLaren as a Scottish schoolboy international in 1936 had been brought to a Blackpool valuation day by May and her daughter Sue, who said: “We found these items in a house and they haven’t cost us a penny.”

They had been discovered by Sue’s son Joseph on the top of a wardrobe during a property development.

Presenter David Dickinson  explained that McLaren had been part of a Preston team which reached the final of an alternative to the FA Cup staged during the Second World War.

McLaren scored against Arsenal in the drawn final at Wembley in May 1941 - watched by 60,000 fans - before Preston won the replay at Ewood Park, Blackburn, at the end of the month.

The family turned down a £500 dealer’s offer and decided to go to auction.

Dickinson, said: “Quite amazing. These medals to Andrew McLaren  must have been very important in his life.”

Auctioneer David Brookes said: “This is really a museum piece and hopefully it will go back to people who are going to really appreciate it.”

McLaren’s link to Barrow had been spotted by Flookburgh-based Barrow AFC fan Frank Lomas, 85, who met the player on a train around 1951.

He said: “I used to go by train to Barrow games as a youngster. We would rush back to the station to catch the train which had corridor carriages

“McLaren was on the train. He would be going back to Preston after the match.”

McLaren was born at Larkhill, Scotland, in January 1922 and died at Northwich, Cheshire, in December 1996.

His first English club had been Preston North End, from 1939 to 1948 and he also played for teams such as Burnley, Sheffield United, Southport and Rochdale. He also played in two 1947 Home Championships matches for Scotland against England and Wales and two friendly matches with Luxembourg.