Eric Harrison – RIP
Eric Harrison (Back row, 4th from the right)
All at Barrow AFC are saddened to learn of the passing of former Bluebirds player Eric Harrison.
Whilst Eric Harrison is perhaps much better known and remembered because of his subsequent career as a coach at Manchester United which produced the “class of 92” – Giggs, Scholes, Butt, the Neville brothers, Beckham and others, he played a vital role in securing our promotion to the then Third Division in 1967.
Eric was born on 5th February 1938 in Mytholmroyd in Yorkshire, just west of Halifax, and he spent seven years at The Shay making nearly 200 appearances. He first signed as an amateur in 1956, turning professional one year later. He made one hundred and ninety nine appearances in total, scoring ten times before in 1964 heading north for two seasons with Hartlepool United where he scored four times in eighty one games.
In the summer of 1966 when Barrow manager Don McEvoy was looking for a reliable central defender to join Brian Arrowsmith, he signed Harrison, whom he had known from his time at Halifax. That central defensive partnership was to be the rock on which our promotion side was founded.
Eric could also play in midfield and he made one hundred and thirty appearances in his first spell with the club, scoring once before moving to Southport in 1969, where he was to play seventy five times without scoring.
He returned to Barrow in the summer of 1971 for a second spell with the club, this time as player/ coach when manager McEvoy was again looking for stability at the back. Harrison made thirty two appearances in our final Football League season, scoring once – some of those appearances came in midfield. He left Barrow that summer and continued to play on – under former Barrow player manager Colin Appleton at Scarborough in the Northern Premier League where he played against us once before he started his coaching career at Everton.
Eric was awarded an MBE in the 2018 New Year’s Honours list; he was presented with the award last year at The Shay.
Our thoughts are with Eric’s family and friends at this difficult time.