Wembley hero gifts medal to lift Barrow AFC's fundraising efforts

A WEMBLEY hero with Barrow AFC is marking the 30th anniversary of a famous day in Bluebirds’ history by donating his winner’s medal to the club’s fundraising efforts.

Tony Chilton was a Barrow history-making hero when he played at left-back in the Bluebirds team which lifted the FA Trophy beneath Wembley’s twin towers in May, 1990.

Tony, 54, enjoyed two spells with Barrow during his professional career and he describes the Bluebirds’ 3-0 cup final win against Leek Town as his “best day in football”.

Maryport-born Tony, who still lives in Cumbria and is a director of ECO solutions and is based at Mealsgate near Cockermouth, has always kept a close eye on the Bluebirds’ progress.

And with this season so cruelly cut short by COVID-19 he wants to help the club’s fundraising efforts by donating his FA Trophy winner’s medal.

Tuesday, May 19, marks the 30th anniversary since that day at Wembley, and the milestone has prompted Tony to make the generous gesture.

“I was thinking about the game being 30 years ago, and I know that the club is needing cash at the moment given the situation with the season ending early due to COVID-19, and it feels like the right thing to do.

“I am very proud of my time at Barrow, and have great memories from the FA Trophy that year, the semi-final against Colne Dynamoes (which Barrow won 3-1 on aggregate over two legs), and of course the final.

“The support we got that day, and all season was amazing. And the day after the final, when we got back to Barrow and did the open top bus tour through the town I was amazed at how many people turned out and the reception we got. They were very special times.

Tony Chilton's winner's medal

“My winner’s medal is sitting in a draw. And I saw that one of Barrow’s 2010 FA Trophy winners Mark Boyd was donating his winner’s medal and strip to help raise money for the club, and I thought I want to do what I can do to help. I want to do my bit.

“I don’t have my Barrow FA Trophy Final top anymore. I donated that a few years ago to help raise money for a young boy with cancer.

“But I do have my winner’s medal. So I would like to donate that to the club and if they can raise a few hundred pounds for it to help their finances given the current situation, that would be great.

“Barrow as a club, the fans, and the public there, were always very good to me. I had a good relationship with everyone there and I want to help in any way I can.”