Tony’s battle to beat cancerDate published: Tuesday, July 14, 2015
YOU may have read, or seen on TV, that former Oldham forward Tony Barrow jnr is fighting an aggressive form of cancer after doctors found a brain tumour.
Aged 43, Tony signed for the old club at Watersheddings as a teenager while his dad, Tony snr, was head coach.
He learned his trade in the ‘A’ team and, as a young forward, played six senior games — four in 1990 against Castleford and Hull KR at home and Widnes and Sheffield away.
In the following season, after his dad had left the club, he played twice more against London Crusaders away and Sheffield at home before moving to Swinton.
About that time the Barrow family had a massive impact on rugby league in Oldham because Tony snr was in charge of the team during that magnificent season of 1989-90 when he guided the side to promotion from the second division; to the Lancashire Cup final against Warrington; to the Regal Trophy quarter-final; to the 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.
The team that day: Platt; Irving, Hyde, Henderson, Lord; Clark, Ford; Casey, Ruane, Fieldhouse, Round, McAlister, Russell. Subs: Newton, Martyn.
Rogr 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 televised thrillers and First Division big guns Wigan, Widnes and St Helens were all defeated in cup-tie spectaculars.”
Those were happy, heady days for the Barrows and for thousands of Oldhamers, who will now wish to be associated with young Tony’s biggest battle of all.
Friends and family are rallying round to raise funds for any treatment the father-of-two will have to undergo.
A testimonial game has been played in his home town of St Helens and a fund-raising dinner, a sell-out, was held at Langtree Park.
Tony has two daughters, Megan (18) and Lucy (15) and a partner, Ann Marie. He is employed as a senior childcare worker and runs his own personal training business.
His dad said: “You never, ever think that something like this will happen to you, but it has so we will be facing it head on.”
There are Facebook and Twitter pages dedicated to the testimonial fund where latest updates will be posted.