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Eric Harrison RIP

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Hadrian
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Eric Harrison RIP

Post by Hadrian » Thu Feb 14, 2019 8:06 am

Sad news this morning of the death of former Barrow half-back Eric Harrison who has dies at the age of 81.

BBC Report

While his achievements as a coach at Manchester United are well-documented, it should not be overlooked that Hebden Bridge-born Eric Harrison was a tremendously strong midfield player who played at Holker Street from 1966 to 1968 then again from 1970 to 1971 and was a huge part of the 1967 promotion team. He joined us from the then Hartlepools United and went to Southport after leaving Holker Street, returning from Southport for a single season in 1971-2 before moving to Scarborough. At Barrow he made 162 league appearances and 25 in other competitions, scoring three goals, two of which were in the league. (Statistics from The Definitive Barrow AFC)
Last edited by Hadrian on Thu Feb 14, 2019 8:23 am, edited 3 times in total.



andyg
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Re: Eric Harrison RIP

Post by andyg » Thu Feb 14, 2019 8:36 am

A great football man RIP Eric

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xerxes
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Re: Eric Harrison RIP

Post by xerxes » Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:00 am

I have great memories of Eric's performances in our team in the late 60s. Hard tackling defender and a model professional. He and Brian Arrowsmith were the backbone of our team. It did not surprise me that he went on to achieve great things as a coach.

Although he was a defender and scored very few goals, one of my fondest memories was the 25 yard rocket he scored in the FA Cup tie v Oldham in 1967.

Condolences to his family.

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Re: Eric Harrison RIP

Post by SKIPPER » Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:08 am

Arguably the best manager we never had. Often wonder where we would be if he had been handed the reins when Don McEvoy left,and that's with all due respect to Colin Appleton who did a grand job before illness took him out of the game. His ability to turn sows' ears into silk purses as he proved at Everton and United would have been a tremendous asset.

RIP Big feller.

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Re: Eric Harrison RIP

Post by Holkerbird » Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:18 am

A good servant of Barrow AFC who went on the be "one of the greatest coaches of our time" according to Sir Alex Ferguson. Accolades will pour in especially from the Class of '92 but to us he was our player first.
R.I.P Eric and thank you.

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Re: Eric Harrison RIP

Post by Steelworks End » Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:22 am

One of the best players Barrow ever had; he certainly made a big impression in the promotion winning team in the sixties - arguably Barrow's best ever side. Those who were fortunate enough to see him play will never forget him. Condolences to his family, and RIP Eric.

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Re: Eric Harrison RIP

Post by Colin Appleton » Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:30 am

After his spell at Utd he got a job sponsored by McDonalds running Soccer Schools around the country with Geoff Hurst. When I met them I said to Geoff " You may have scored a hat trick in a World Cup Final but you've never played for the mighty Barrow like this man" Geoff laughed and Eric went on to tell tales of how the players used to visit the "99" club during his time at Barrow. They both came across as really nice genuine blokes
Last edited by Colin Appleton on Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Eric Harrison RIP

Post by barrowfan » Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:31 am

Remember seeing an article in The Times about Eric about a year ago, drawing attention to his severe Alzheimers. The Class of 92 didn't know about Eric's problems but as soon as they did they all went to see him over the next few days.

As soon as David Beckham heard he just jumped in his car and went over the North-East. He said that when he walked into the room Eric's face lit up, but within a few seconds he was back in his own world.

R.I.P. Eric.
Last edited by barrowfan on Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Eric Harrison RIP

Post by blue nige » Thu Feb 14, 2019 11:15 am

I met him at Old Trafford when he was doing a book signing and I mentioned I was at Holker street when he scored against Oldham his face lit up and he asked where I lived and he said he used to play snooker in the "Vic" oxford street and that he was still friends with "arrow" (Brian Arrowsmith ) and played golf with him, he talked about Barrow`s plight and the guy really seemed genuine in his sadness that where we had ended up!, when he was talking a queue formed but everyone listened to what he was saying, it was brilliant and a moment I`ll never forget !

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Re: Eric Harrison RIP

Post by saitek » Thu Feb 14, 2019 1:20 pm

Remember Eric well, a hard man on the pitch and a top man off it.Should be in the Hall of Fame, RIP.

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Re: Eric Harrison RIP

Post by The Tomahawk Kid » Thu Feb 14, 2019 4:17 pm

I saw Eric play for Barrow AFC a few times – he was part of the Barrow team that briefly topped the old Div 3 (now Div 2) in 1968. That side, managed by former Leicester City player Colin Appleton, was in my opinion, our finest ever team. They finished 8th from top of Div 3 in the 1967/68 season – our highest ever Football League position. Although I was only aged 8 at the time I realised Eric Harrison was a class act and it was a pleasure to have seen him play.

Thanks for many happy memories of you playing for Barrow AFC and for coaching what was to become Manchester United's treble winning team!

RIP Eric.
When we set sail across the seven seas,
There was Captain Dan and Billy Bones and me...
and the Tomahawk Kid

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Re: Eric Harrison RIP

Post by Suffolk Blue » Thu Feb 14, 2019 6:21 pm

When Jimmy Mallon passed away there were some great memories expressed regarding how good Mallon and Edwards were in that 66/67 promotion winning side. Imagine then those two full-backs efectively playing as wing-backs before the term really existed with Eric Harrison and George Smith holding the defensive line together. The older I get the more I appreciate just how good that side was.

Because I am old enough to remember the promotion winning season, Eric Harrison was a hero to me before he left for Southport. And I can remember feeling let down at the time. By the time he returned I was a ball-boy in my early teens and our fortunes had changed significantly. Occasionally I got to cart out the Zigger to the centre circle for the toss and these events still provide vivid memories as it was really the closest I ever got the players. I can still recall being in the centre circle one time, with the Barrow players around me, one of whom was Eric Harrison standing on his own about ten yards away ahead of kick off. He was "focussed" - so much so that I can remember finding him a bit scary.

I can still see him clearly in my mind. He was not a big man - average height and build - and you'd be forgiven for not dwelling on him for to long. But he was an understated figure. Like George Smith this was not a player you took liberties with. Eric could play without a doubt, but like all effective defenders at that time he was hard as a rock and didn't give an inch. He was an enforcer in the good old fashioned meaning of the word. He was never the talker (step forward Mick Hartland); he was the doer. His reputation at the club has probably not been as high as it should've been partly because he left and came back, missing out on the Appleton years and partly because he was I think a bit of an introvert.

What I take from the heartfelt tributes from the class of 92 is that despite all of their innate abilities, potential and flair, what they all attribute the Eric Harrison are the footballing disciplines he instilled in them, including how they should play the game with integrity and as a group, and how never to take liberties with their talent. No wonder Alex Ferguson rated him so highly.

I like to think that just a little bit of that philosophy was fashioned and honed at Holker Street. RIP Eric.

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Re: Eric Harrison RIP

Post by saltcellar » Thu Feb 14, 2019 6:38 pm

Eric Harrison played for Barrow the entire time that Colin Appleton managed Barrow.

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Re: Eric Harrison RIP

Post by pjdaly » Thu Feb 14, 2019 6:45 pm

Very sorry to hear of this but not at all surprised given the reports we learned about a year or two back concerning his dementia.

In a week when the national team lost a monumental figure in Gordon Banks, we at little old Holker Street have lost one of our revered figures from our greatest season, 1966-67, when we achieved promotion into the 3rd Division.

Eric had the almost unique distinction of being the only Barrow player to have figured in both our greatest season (1966-67) and also our worst season (1971-72) when we fell out of the Football League. I say "almost unique" because Bobby Knox is, I think, the only other member of that club, though Knoxy wasn't as much of a regular in the first team in 66-67 as Eric was.There was a great deal wrong in 71-72 but I don't think Eric was any part of the problem. I referred to him as "The Rock" at that time as he did his best to stem the slide. Tough as they come, I wouldn't have wanted to be on any football field facing an incoming challenge from this hard, hard man. I have a signed copy of his book "View From The Dugout" and perhaps the best bit in it was where he mentions that he never, ever went out onto the pitch and gave less than 100%. Even if he had gripes with a club (as he did with Barrow at one point) he stressed that his own integrity would never allow him to not give it his all every time he stepped onto the pitch. I like that as an epitaph. Forever a very high-ranking figure in our Hall of Fame.

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xerxes
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Re: Eric Harrison RIP

Post by xerxes » Thu Feb 14, 2019 7:03 pm

...and in other news from Old Trafford today, Manchester United have paid £19.6 million compensation to a former manager who is not fit to clean Eric Harrison's boots.

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