Fundraising dinner organised to help Oldham rugby great fight brain tumour

A MIXED-company dinner in support of former Oldham RL forward Tony Barrow, who is fighting a brain tumour, will be held locally in April.

Now aged 44, Tony signed for the old club at Watersheddings while his dad, Tony Barrow snr, was head coach during a great period for the club in the late 1980s.

Seven months on from when the news of ‘young’ Tony’s illness was first revealed, he and the Barrow family are still fighting their biggest-ever battle, a key element of which is to raise funds for his continuing treatment.

A group of former employees of the old club, who knew the Barrows well when father and son were there, are arranging the dinner for Tony jnr, on Monday, April 4 at St Herbert’s Parish Rooms on Broadway.

Tickets are £25 and it will be an evening of mixed company with a three-course dinner, guest speaker Barrie McDermott, comedian Ven Tracey and MC Peter Young.

For tickets, or more information, ring any one of the four organisers, Ray Hill 07591 048076; John Watkins 07974 612038; Peter Young 07875 661976; Karen Tupaea on 07736 195063.

Karen, whose husband Shane is a former Oldham player and coach, will be better remembered as Karen Scott, who worked for many years in the Watersheddings office and ultimately became club secretary.

About that time the Barrow family had a massive impact on rugby league in Oldham because Tony snr was in charge in 1989/90 when he guided the side to promotion from the second division; to the Lancashire Cup final against Warrington; Regal Trophy quarter-final; Silk Cut Challenge Cup semi-final; and to that fantastic division two play-off final at Old Trafford when the Barrow boys pipped Hull KR 30-29.

Remember the team? Platt; Irving, Hyde, Henderson, Lord; Clark, Ford; Casey, Ruane, Fieldhouse, Round, McAlister, Russell. Subs: Newton, Martyn.

Roger Halstead wrote in the Chronicle: “The drama and excitement of Old Trafford was a fitting end to a memorable season in which Oldham won 36 of the 43 games played.

“They were involved in 15 cup-ties; they came desperately close to reaching Wembley for the first time; they were involved in several television thrillers; and first division big guns Wigan, Widnes and St Helens were all defeated in cup-tie spectaculars.”

Those were happy days for the club, for the Barrow family and for thousands of fans, many of whom will want to be associated with ‘young’ Tony’s battle to beat cancer.

Fighting with him are his parents, partner Ann Marie, and his two daughters, Megan (18) and Lucy (15).


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