As Parliament continues to stall in efforts to deliver Brexit, I’m sure everyone would agree that there’s enough division in this country right now without resorting to abusing somebody along the lines of colour, religion, nationality or sexuality.

I’ve always found it completely baffling when these lines of attack are opened in a game as traditionally universal as football, or a town as historically built on immigration as Barrow is.

It’s depressing in the extreme to read of a rise of online abuse suffered by prominent players. Success and fame does not make you fair game for any bigot with a keyboard or an agenda.

Although the worst example this week is perhaps the Romelu Lukaku abuse in Italy, one only has to read of Paul Pogba’s Twitter abuse or the fact that Wilfred Zaha has said he is racially abused every single week when playing. Every week, in 2019.

Some complain that it’s difficult to feel sympathy for those who appear to live the life of the super-rich but the fact that colour is still the ‘weapon of choice’ for saloon bar numpties or Twitter trolls shows up that argument for what it is – appeasing bigotry.

Abuse is abuse and is unacceptable in all of its forms. So is, as we move near to the 2020s, the fact that so few players from an ethnic minority are in football management or operating at boardroom level.

In Barrow and at Barrow AFC, we don’t tolerate prejudice and we celebrate the welcoming community we come from. There’s a great poem (Google it) about Barrow which begins with: ‘A Barrow lad’s from mongrel stock’.

What the author is getting at is how many different people from different places came together to build our town as it boomed in the 19th century. That is our history.

Legendary anti-racist campaigner Rosa Parks said this: “Racism is still with us, but it is up to us to prepare our children for what we have to meet and hopefully we shall overcome.”

At Barrow, we’ve chosen a focus on Furness Families Against Hate for this Non-League Day on October 12th.

Schools, families, fans, local businesses and our multicultural forum are all playing their part and special thanks must go to Steve Herbert for all the work he’s putting in to make the event a success, along with club staff who are supporting his efforts.

We hope you will join us too for a memorable afternoon.

*It’s nice to be able to write this column after a win.

When I took it on, I made clear that I wasn’t going to mimic the words of the manager or praise performances when it wasn’t merited, but it really has been hard to fault a lot of our defeats so far.

Tuesday night’s display against Hartlepool was another baffling combination of dominating a game and coming away with no reward. Luck just hasn’t been with us.

You’ll forgive me, therefore, for taking some pleasure in the fact that the team rode their luck a little in stoppage time at Aldershot last Saturday.

Having held a 2-0 lead and seen us pegged back to 2-1, it began to feel like a familiar away day story was going to unfold once again.

Truth be told, I was convinced that the second goal would come and once news of a penalty being awarded to Aldershot reached me, I nodded sagely and retreated to make a cup of tea.

What I missed was a rare thing this year – Barrow getting the better of the luck.

A great save from Joel Dixon shouldn’t be overlooked, and the team held on for a crucial win.

Let’s hope that we can now take some momentum on into the coming weeks.

*Tonight (note the 7pm kick-off time), Barrow begin their latest foray into the Lancashire Senior Cup when we entertain Oldham in the first round.

While we may not have the pedigree of the three-time winners, Barrow have in fact prevailed in this competition on one occasion, way back in 1954/55.

For those not aware, the Lancashire Senior Cup has an interesting history. In 1939, for example, the onset of war prevented a replay of the tied final between Bolton Wanderers and Preston North End resulting in both teams being named joint winners.

And when, in 1957, Chester were invited to enter despite being based outside the county and they went on to win the tournament, they thanked the Lancashire FA with the presentation of a new display cabinet in order to house what they described as “the finest looking trophy in the land”.

Four of the last seven trophies have been shared between Manchester United, Everton and Liverpool, which gives some interesting star power to a tournament won most recently (and most often) by 19-time winners Blackburn Rovers.

While these teams now play reserve and underage players for the most part, this tournament remains an interesting throwback to football’s earliest days and should be valued by fans of all the participant clubs.