ONE of the greatest figures from Barrow AFC's Football League days will be honoured on Saturday as Holker Street's Main Stand is renamed.

Bluebirds owner Paul Casson will unveil the newly-christened Brian Arrowsmith Stand ahead of the FA Cup third-round tie against Rochdale (3pm kick-off).

Casson felt the honour of naming the stand after the club's Football League appearance record-holder was suitable recognition for his service. He made 580 appearances – 378 in the League – in two spells between 1961 and 1977, as well as spending 18 months as player/manager.

Arrowsmith played during Barrow's Football League heyday – when they won promotion to the old Third Division – and came back after a short spell at Netherfield during their early non-league days.

The pre-match ceremony (starting at approximately 2.45pm), will see Arrowsmith, who will be accompanied by wife Jean and son Mark – who himself made six first-team appearances for Barrow – presented to the packed crowd.

Casson said of recognising the 76-year-old: “We have decided to honour Brian Arrowsmith, a true Barrow legend, by naming the Main Stand for him.

“We will show our respect for Brian and all of the things he has done for the town and the club.

“He's unique in his service to the club. There is a bit of a personal component as well, in that he was the captain of the club when I first started going as a boy. I remember him, he was there during the glory years.

“After a brief hiatus away, he came back and played until 1978 as a non-league player. There are not that many – if any – who have had that long a career with Barrow, playing both in the league and non-league, and also as player and manager.

“He's continued to live in the town and be active in his support of the club ever since and it is nice to honour him and to tell those people who might not know all about the depth of his legacy.”

Arrowsmith will be honoured as Barrow host their first FA Cup third-round match since 1968 against Leicester City – a game he played in as the top-flight team triumphed 2-1.

He was also in the side which beat Rochdale 2-0 the last time the sides met in December 1969 in Division Three.

Casson felt the weekend's big occasions was therefore the right time for the stand to be renamed, and added: “The timing just seems to be right. He played in that FA Cup game against Leicester 49 years ago – I was there, he was there, and I might ask for anyone else in the ground who was there to give us a wave – there will be quite a few I imagine.

“It's something I have been trying to do for a while, and it has just been about finding the right time really. It seems like this is the right time.

“He was one of the first people I met when I took over the club, and I remembered that he was a big part of the club in its glory days – and also in its not-so-glorious days as well. It's rare that people will stick around through thick and thin, but he was someone who did that. I've always been thinking about doing something appropriate, and this seems about as appropriate as it gets.”