Tributes paid to man “totally committed to football”
Date published: 31 March 2012
Tributes have been paid to a “charismatic, charming and straightforward” man who dedicated much of his life to football.
Cyril Barlow, 69, from Littleborough was a popular man within the Rochdale football community.
Mr Barlow lived in Littleborough all his life; he attended Parish Church School and went on to work at Whittles bakery. He also worked at Standrings and in his later life he worked as a taxi driver.
Mr Barlow joined Whittles FC in 1957 and served as a committee member and club secretary when they were members of the South East Lancashire League and the Rochdale Sunday Schools League.
Fothergill & Harvey and Whittles joined forces in 2004 and became Fothergill and Whittles Football Club.
Mr Barlow remained onboard and following his retirement from the position of club secretary he remained on the committee. He was also the club’s groundsman and could be regularly found at their ground during the week doing odd jobs.
Fothergill & Whittles Secretary, Martin Nuttall, said: “Cyril was a family man, he was very friendly and he would do anything for anybody.
“Aside from his family, Whittles, the pitch and the facilities were his life. He looked after the pitch, cut the grass, did all the odd jobs. He was one of those people who just did everything and he did it just for the enjoyment of doing it.
“Football was his life.
“You would always get a straight answer from Cyril, he had a great rapport with all of the players and he was immensely popular.
“All the teams in the league knew him. He was a fantastic bloke.”
Stewart Hartley, who worked with Mr Barlow at Whittles Bakery and has known him for over 40 years, said: “He was a nice guy; he always put his point across. He was very well known all over Littleborough because he lived there all his life.
“He was totally committed to football.
“He was a very passionate John Wayne fan and he was also into autobiographies, particularly of sportsmen.”
In 1986 Mr Barlow received a 30 year award from Lancashire FA and in 2006 he received the Football Association 50 year award for his long service.
Mr Barlow was invited to join the committee of the Rochdale Online Alliance League as a divisional representative in 2000 and he was an active and knowledgeable member. He went on to become a life vice-president of the committee.
Chairman of the Rochdale Online Alliance League, Jason Croke, described Mr Barlow as a “charismatic, charming, straightforward” man who “called a spade a spade.”
Mr Croke added: “He was very popular, a very likeable guy he would do anything for anybody.”
Vice Chairman, Trevor Winn, added: “He was a great bloke, he would help anybody and he had a wealth of experience around football.”
Mr Barlow leaves his wife Margaret, 67, daughters Suzanne, 41 and Nicola, 39, and three grandsons, twins Harry and James, 14, and Sam, 10.
Margaret said: “He was very loud, quite outspoken and he sometimes appeared very grumpy but he was soft really and he would do anything for anybody. He always put himself out. He always helped people.
“He was very caring and a brilliant dad and a very proud granddad. He was very pleased when he got three boys after having two girls.”
Mr Barlow’s other hobbies included dominoes and cards and he collected dinky toys.
Mr Barlow’s funeral will take place on Monday 2 April at Greenhill Methodist Church, Clough Road, Littleborough at 10.45am followed by his internment at Rochdale Crematorium at 11.50am.
Mrs Barlow said anyone who wants to have a drink in Mr Barlow’s memory can join the family at The Sun in Littleborough afterwards.
Have Your Say