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Favorite Moments - 100 - 125 Your fun memories from EOTB

fm107 - Memories of Steve Martin of Manly fame playing for Barrow in the UK

Posted by... quigs eraofthebiff - on ... Thursday, May 17, 2012
Carl Swindlehurst,
Barrow-in-Furness,
England
Barrow .. is the club I follow

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In 1975/6 when I was a young lad of 16 my local team - Barrow - a 2nd division club in England were asked to take on a young 16 year old rugby player from Wagga Wagga. This was essentially a favour to an gent from Wagga Wagga - Phil Jackson (ex Great Britain and the finest centre ever to come from Barrow, Barrow's 2nd best player ever after Willie Horne)I thought at the time it was a nice gesture and the young player would benefit from the experience of a few months in England with Barrow 'A' team.

After a few weeks rumours came out this this lad was quite good, he was classed as a utility back and was given a go on the bench as substitute. When he made an appearance I was stunned to see a boy of my own age taking out old men (25+) and not just wingers, he was knocking down the props. After showing us his tackling for a couple of weeks he was given longer to play and showed us vision and pace.

He became a first team regular and at the end of the season he was playing as first choice stand off. Barrow had a wonderful season and finished as 2nd division champions and were promoted to the first division.

The next season was harder because we were playing the likes of Leeds and St Helens but the young stand off had returned to Wagga and then gone to play with some club in Sydney called Manly.

It was not quite the end of the story because this lad had a 2nd Division Champions medal to pick up but we had to wait until Bobby Fulton's tourists arrived to play Cumbria at Barrow and before the match Steve Martin was presented with a long overdue medal.

In a list that includes Rod Reddy, Kevin Hastings and Mark Cannon I would class Steve Martin as Barrow's best ever Aussie.


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