After joining us from Aylesbury United, Paul Barrowcliff quickly established himself as the heartbeat of our midfield as we stormed to the Conference title in 1995-6. Scoring eight goals from the middle of the park and playing more than 50 games that season, the player was a key asset to boss Paul Fairclough. But it could’ve been so different. To start with, ‘Parcel Force’ – as he seems to have been known – struggled to get a start. It wasn’t until he scored twice against Brook House in the FA Cup that he cemented his place.
The rest, you can say, is history. The midfielder went onto form a resolute partnership in the middle with Steve Berry. As one matchday programme put it, an “all-action style and fierce competitive approach” meant opposition teams couldn’t cope. Barrowcliff stayed with us for the season after the title win, even though we were denied promotion to the Football League. It certainly wasn’t a lack of interest, however. Leyton Orient were said to be keen at one point.
With us falling short of a second successive title in 1997, the midfielder was granted the chance to take a step up to the League with Brentford.
Paul Barrowcliff: After Boro’
Barra’s time at the Bees didn’t quite go as hoped, despite a promising start. After being a regular face in the first team at the start of the 1997-8 campaign, the appearances started to dry up. He came back here for a brief loan spell, before leaving Brentford at the end of the season and moving onto Hendon. Again, however, things didn’t go to plan there and he was on the move to Chesham United later that year.
It was at Slough Town that Barrowcliff’s career got back on the right course, making vital contributions to the club’s efforts in a four-year spell. In February 2003, he left the Rebels in February 2003 for Metropolitan Police – but was only there for six-or-so months before returning to Slough. Helping his old team win promotion to the Isthmian League Premier Division, it was back to Met Police that summer; the club that Barrowcliff would bring his long and productive football career to its close.