Alan Dawkins - Barrow Town Supremo
Alan Dawkins died on January 24 aged 64 following a fight against liver cancer.
Away from the pitch Alan, who grew up in Shelthorpe, married Sonia Waldron in 1968 and they were together until her death in 2007, having one son, Chris.
After refusing to attend Loughborough Grammar School because they didn't play football and instead attending Loughborough College, Alan worked for Ladybird Books in Loughborough before he retired when the factory closed in 1999. He later bought the company's car shaped like a ladybird.
Alan’s death ended his long association with football in Barrow. It began 43 years ago when he joined Barrow Old Boys FC as a player, and apart from a few seasons away playing for other teams and winning trophies, Barrow is where his loyalties remained. Alan’s involvement with the club came in many guises: player, manager at junior and senior level, club secretary, fund raiser and match reporter for the Loughborough Echo.
In 1995 floodlights were essential to enable the club to stay in the Senior League Premier Division. As usual, Alan was there devoting time and effort to ensure that the funds were raised and the lights installed. The next large project was the extension to the clubhouse and the fund raising was not confined to local sponsors; Alan and Paul Carnall went to London to meet with the Football Foundation where they put a strong case forward for the improvements. This resulted in a considerable sum of money being awarded towards the total cost. The rest of the money come from various other sponsors and the new extension opened in the summer of 2004.
The Barrow Town Fun Day is a big event in the football club’s fundraising calendar; the Five-a-side Tournament is the highlight of the day, with 24 teams regularly taking part. Alan organised and co-ordinated this event, and it is due to his hard work that this has become such a successful tournament.
Alan always gave one hundred percent when helping the club in whatever capacity he could, and it is obvious that he will be greatly missed. However, his name will live on in the ‘Alan Dawkins Suite’ at the clubhouse he did so much to improve.
Thanks go to Mick Bland for providing me with details of Alan’s involvement with football in Barrow.