We each came to Barrow AFC by different means. For some, dad or grandad introduced us to the club. Others may have visited with friends or school.

Our supporters cover all ages, backgrounds and even locations and it’s always interesting to hear how fans first came to follow The Bluebirds.

In my case, it was after several pints of Carling with Gary McFarlane one Friday evening in the Bay Horse.

Had I known the ups, downs and financial outlay that would follow, I might have shaken my head when Gary asked (or told) me to ‘get yourself down to watch Barrow with me tomorrow!’

But off I went with Nige, Taffy, Ian and the gang. I daren’t try to tally the miles travelled, money spent or pints drank since then.

By now, most will be aware that Gary has sadly lost his battle with ill health. Saturday’s game against Yeovil saw a minute’s applause in the 58th minute which was brilliantly supported.

The BT commentator even talked a national viewing audience through it; a fitting tribute with Gary’s wife Sharon and close family in attendance.

The commentator, for those who haven’t gone back and watched the game yet, spoke strongly about the community feel at clubs like Barrow.

I would take it a step further. What we have is a family, and we don’t always give ourselves enough credit for the network of friendship and support that exists in and around Barrow AFC.

As a close friend of Gary and Sharon, I can tell you all how touched she was by the gesture on Saturday and how struck she was by the level of respect and depth of feeling so many had for Gary.

The funeral, for those unaware, will take place at 1pm on Friday at St Mary’s Church in Dalton. This is followed by a return to the Cross Bar, where I know Sharon and the family would love to see as many of Gary’s football friends in attendance as possible.

Wear your favourite Barrow shirt to the service if you wish. Gary would certainly approve.

I can never thank Gary now for introducing Barrow AFC into my life. Not the match days or the directorship, but the people.

On Friday, those people will remind me again of the close ties we all share and how we come together in adversity.

I for one will be raising several glasses to the best friend I made at the football. And don’t worry Gary, we’ll be allowed to drink in the window.

*Let’s leave last week’s away game at Stockport County to one side, except to say that familiar defensive issues resurfaced.

Despite this, we could count ourselves unlucky after a late charge resulted in Jason Taylor crashing a thunderbolt off the post in front of another healthy away support.

The same player was moved to the back four for the televised visit of Yeovil and what an excellent game he had – calm and tough, which is exactly what’s required at any level.

It certainly brought out of Connor Brown and Sam Hird the best performances we’ve yet seen.

The subsequent clean sheet was as welcome as it was vital for confidence. By the end, with only Scott Quigley’s quality turn and strike separating the teams, we’d played some decent attacking football in the second half and should have been further ahead. An important win.

On this occasion, the TV cameras probably had a slightly negative effect on attendance, but I was very pleased the club offered to let the majority of Yeovil fans in for free after their nightmare journey and arrival as the second half was kicking off.

It was a small gesture which was appreciated and no doubt eased a long journey home for the Glovers’ travelling contingent, thankfully without any points.

*A few pieces of news and general thanks round out this week’s column.

Firstly, we will be presenting the 1901 Club cheque to the club before the Halifax game on Bank Holiday Monday. It gives the club and Bluebirds Trust a chance to thank the 900-plus contributors, a phenomenal effort by all.

On Saturday we visit Chesterfield. There are only a few places left on the Trust Bus, so if you haven’t booked yet then please do.

Our titanic cricket struggle against Barrow Raiders supporters was a victim of Friday’s heavy rain. We will try again on Friday, September 6 at Furness Cricket Club (6pm), sadly without our manager as he will be taking the team to Aldershot.

Please do attend if you can, as the money raised goes to both Supporters’ Trusts and to Mind in Furness.

Local businesses have backed the Trust for at least the last three seasons, through all the ups and downs that come in football. All deserve our thanks.

Gas South Lakes are the Trust’s main sponsor, the Trust Shop on the Popular Side is sponsored by Barrow Cars, and the half-time raffle is sponsored by Best One Ormsgill Convenience Store. Trust Travel once again partners up with the Ambrose Hotel.