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Holker Old Boys Association Football Club - a real grass roots football club

Our History


Holker old Boys’ Football Club was founded in 1936 as an under 16 side from “Old Boys” of the then Holker Central Secondary School in Holker Street  Barrow-in-Furness (on the same road as Barrow FCs ground). The school itself has long since been replaced with a Kwik Save supermarket.


In season 1939-40 the club joined the local North Western Open Age League, playing all their games on local playing fields. Junior teams were soon formed thus keeping the links with their roots, which has remain to this day, the club is the longest serving in the Barrow & District JFL.


1967 saw the club enter a team in the West Lancashire League whilst retaining a side in the N.W.L.


In 1971 a site for a new ground was obtained at Rakesmoor Lane on land which had originally been allotments. The club moved from their previous home on Thorncliffe Road to their present one at Rakesmoor. On the formation of the Furness Premier League the club entered two teams into this league which is still the case to date.


Having spent years in the shadow of local rivals Vickers’ Sports Club (now BAE. Systems (Barrow)) and Dalton United in season 1985/86 they had their best ever season to date finishing Runners-up to BAC. Preston in the West Lancs. League Div. 1. However in the following season, which was also the club’s Golden Jubilee season, they went one better and finished Champions ahead of Vickers’ SC.


More success followed as the club won the Adidas Lancashire Junior Shield in 1988/89 beating Walkden Town 2-0 and again in1990/91 when they defeated Park United 1-0. The club were now thinking of progressing to a higher standard of football but much work was needed on their Rakesmoor Lane ground to bring it up to the standard required. Committee members, players, friends and their families all worked hard to extend the clubhouse, build new changing rooms and enclose the pitch. The reward for all this hard work was to be accepted into the NWCFL Second Division for the start of the 1991/92 season.


Holker Old Boys took a couple of seasons to acclimatise to the new higher standard during which time floodlights were installed but in 1993/94 they finished third in the Second Division behind Haslingden (now defunct) and North Trafford (now Trafford). Haslingden were unable to be promoted because their facilities did not meet the requirements for the First Division so Holker Old Boys filled the second promotion place.


Holker gave a good account of themselves for their first three seasons in the First Division and in 1995/96 they finished in their highest ever position of 11th. However the 1997/98 season saw them struggle finishing just two points ahead of relegated Darwen and the 1998/99 season was a disaster seeing them lose all twenty away games and scoring just five goals on their travels. Not suprisingly Holker finished bottom of the Division and were relegated for the first time in their history.


Since relegation the club have restructured their finances and undertaken a period of rebuilding which is starting to bring returns. The club now has three open age sides and a junior section of nine sides down to Under 8s and in season, 2002/03, had its best season since 1995/96 finishing fifth in Division 2. In season 2003/04 off the field the club secured over 80,000 in grants for stadium improvements, pitch drainage and car parking.


Playing wise the last 3 seasons have been a disappointment with the side languishing in the lower half of the division however there have been one or two moments to savour namely reaching the 2nd Qualifying Round of the FA. Cup in season 2004/05 and the successful arrangement of the game against FC. United of Manchester last season at Craven Park, the home of Barrow Raiders RLFC., in front of a club record attendance of 2303. Both these events raised much welcome finance for the club enabling us to embark on more ground improvements starting with the upgrading of the floodlights for season 2006/07. The club has also been rewarded for its efforts at junior level with the commitment and effort of coaches, managers and the Committee helping to attain the FA. Charter Standard Development Club Award.


In season 2006/07 a number of ‘older’ players departed to lower level football and the Club made a decision to utilise the strength of its junior set up & the Club’s Under 18’s were invited to step into the breach. These young players were used throughout the 3 senior sides, with the First team ending up 14th in the NWCFL 2nd Division, a place higher than the previous year and had cup runs that included memorable victories against promoted Runcorn Linnetts & 1st Division side Colne FC & a great game against Morecambe FC in the Lancashire Cup. At times no fewer than 9 lads played in the First Team who were still eligible for Under 18 football. The season’s highlight was Holker Under 18s magnificent achievement in winning the Lancashire FA Under 18 Youth Trophy, a return to Holker winning County Cups. The season ended with FC United of Manchester returning to Holker to play a celebration game after they had achieved the 1st Division double. 


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