Tuesday 13 December 2005 Darwen FC v Chadderton
Saturday 17 December 2005 Darwen FC v New Mills Reserves Division
Winsford United v Darwen FC
Sunday 18 December 2005 Darwen Ladies V Bolton Wanderers
Saturday 31 December 2005 Great Harwood Town v Darwen
Monday 2 January 2006 Darwen v Padiham
Saturday 7 January 2006 FC United v Darwen
Monday December the 12th 8.00pm Salmoners Club. Darwen FC Independent Supporters
Friday 16th December Shakin Stevens (Tribute) 8.30pm adm £3 for detail phone
Barley Bank was the home of the "Salmoners" (Darwen Football Club)
for some 25 years, the club moved to the ground in 1874 from Lynwood
Darwen, the large ground was used for both Cricket and Football.
The club used the nearby Alexandra Hotel for changing facilities and
club meetings in the early years.
It was at Barley Bank that the Salmoners enjoyed their great days
with wins over Aston Villa 5-4, Everton 5-1 Bolton Wanderers 7-0,
Newcastle United 5-0, Sheffield Wednesday 5-1 and Blackburn Rovers
4-0 to name a few.
In 1891 Darwen Football club gained election to the Football League
and new changing facilities were erected on the "Clough end" on what
is now the Northern side of Hindle Street, also a stand was erected
on the "Town-end" to accomodate some 1000 paying spectators, it was
known throughout the town as the "Barrel Stand" because of the shape
of the roof. The stand was moved to the "Clough end in 1893.
The main entrance to the ground was situated at the corner of what
is now Hindle Street / Barley Bank Street, with another entrance at
the top of Bright Street, in the years up-to 1894 tickets were sold
for the games at various venues around the town but in 1894
turnstiles were introduced to the ground for pay-on the day
On the 20th March 1880 in the final of the new Lancashire cup,
played at Barley Bank, Darwen played Local rivals Blackburn Rovers,
-- some 9,000 spectators turned up, One hour before the kick-off the
large crowds were gathering outside the ground, and it was necessary
to have six match selling ticket positions to cope with the throng.
Twelve lorries were commandeered as temporary seated stands on the
North side of the ground, and these were soon filled to overflowing.
Even team photographs were taken and in the two teams two future
England internationals were on show Tom Marshall of Darwen and the
Blackburn Rovers captain John Hargreaves. Darwen won the final 3-0
to lift the cup for the only time in their history!
The highest attendance for a match at Barley Bank was 12,500 for a
friendly against local rivals Blackburn Rovers in 1885 over 8,000
more than had watched the Rovers win the FA Cup for the first time
at the Kennington Oval, London in March of that year -- and it was
at the time the highest attendance recorded for a football game, the
Rovers were victors 1-2.
It was on the Barley Bank that one of the first ever football
matches lit up by floodlights was played. on the 28th October 1878
Darwen played a select team from Blackburn made up of players from
Blackburn Rovers, Blackburn Olympic and Blackburn Park road. The
game kicked off at approx 7-30pm and the light was provided by two
steam driven Magneto-electric engines -- borrowed from the nearby
Orchard mill -- which gave out 36,000 candle power, the local paper
reported it as a "brilliant success" but it proved to be too
expensive! the game was won by Darwen 3-0.
Darwen like many of the clubs during this period introduced a
Matchday programme, and some have survived to this day and are now
extremely valuable collectors items, programmes from games such as
Darwen's defeat by West Brom 12-0 ( the biggest win ever in the top
flight of English football ) and the last league match ever played
at the Barley Bank against Newton Heath in 1899 ( they were playing
one of their last games before changeing their name to Manchester
United ) would fetch a great sum and some have been auctioned at
such institutes as Sotherbys of London.
By 1888 the Cricket side had left the Barley Bank and set up home
back near Lynwood, leaving the Football club to pay the increased
rent for the ground.
Sadly due to falling attendances and dismal results toward the end
of the 1890's the club was in a financial crisis, struggling to
survive and the decision to move to another ground was made at the
end of the 1898/99 season when the Landlord a Rev Duckworth the Lord
of the Manor decided not to renew the clubs lease.
Darwen Football Club's last ever competitive game at Barley Bank was
the Football league game ,--on the 22nd April 1899, when they
entertained Newton Heath the game ended in a 1-1 draw! -- some 1,300
had turned out to watch the Salmoners "swansong"( Newton Heath were
playing one of their last games under that name and changed shortly
after to Manchester United now ironically the "worlds biggest club"
The Darwen team that day was : McIvor ( goal ) Woolfall and
Cawthorne ( backs ) Moore, Livesey and Radcliffe ( half-backs )
Wilson, Bleasdale, Pilkington, Eccles and Collinson ( forwards )
Jack Whitley the club captain was sold a day earlier for £50 to
Aston Villa which helped pay off the players wages!
On the 17th of May 1899 the Salmoners played their last-ever game at
the Barley Bank in a friendly against Burnley, this brought an end
to a marvellous chapter in the clubs history.
Although Darwen FC moved to the Anchor in the summer of 1899 they
were still using the Barley Bank ground with the permission of the
landlord for trials as late as 1904, but shortly after that the
builders moved in, and built on the land now is the bottom half of
Barley Bank street and Brighton terrace, and the extention to Hindle
street these were built on the old cricket pitch end, but the
football pitch was never built on due to the persistance of a large
group of townsfolk who campaigned for some 30 years for the return
to the Barley Bank of Darwen Football Club.
But sadly by the late 1920's the group by then only a small number
finally gave in to the inevitable, and by early 1929 building work
started on a new girls school called Avondale which was opened in
The "old Barrel stand" was dismantled and moved to the new ground at
the Anchor at a cost of £100 kindly loaned to the club by the owner
of the Anchor farm a Mr R. Smith without who's help at the time the
club would surely have folded. The Stand stood on the west side of
the ground at the Anchor for some 22 years, when it was demolished
to make way for a new stand, also the remaing part of the grounds
boundary wall at the top of Bright Street was demolished in the
1970's as part of a regeneration of the area and with it's passing
went Darwen's last link with the Barley Bank ground!
Acknowledgements for the history and images in this
section to: Darwen RBL -- who originally published this page in 2002
History source : Blackburn with Darwen Library