Menu Players Managers Fans Seasons Miscellany

Stewart Barrowclough (1970/71 to 1977/78 )

Stewart Barrowclough
Stewart Barrowclough
Birth 23/02/56 Barnsley Yorkshire
Ht/Wt RW 5-07 9-2
Jnd. 08/70 (18) Barnsley £33,000
Debut 29/08/70 (18) D1: Blackpool (H) sub
Left. 05/78 (26) Birmingham Exchange
App/Gls 260 (28) 28

In the seventies Stewart was one of an increasingly rare breed of orthodox, old-fashioned wingers, a real touchline flyer who could cross with accuracy.

He was snapped up by Joe Harvey from Barnsley for £33,000 after playing only ten first team games in the Third Division. There was also a clause in the contract which stipulated another £10,000 after ten first team games.

He was only nineteen when he signed and reluctant to leave home, so it is not surprising that he suffered quite badly from homesickness during his first 18 months on Tyneside. His lack of weight and physical strength hindered him initially and he also lacked confidence at times, but with the help of coach Keith Burkinshaw he began to believe in himself more and got into more goal scoring positions.

Fast and tricky, with the ability to turn a defence inside out, Stewart had the courage and skill to take on defenders. He crossed the ball accurately from either wing and could be dangerous when cutting in to shoot.

He really came to the fore during the 1972/73 season when he was capped at England U23 level and was seen as a possibility for the 1974 World Cup squad. Chelsea manager Dave Sexton said at the time: "I rate Barrowclough as the brightest prospect I've seen in a long time. He has all the skills of a great player - pace, speed, control and passing ability”. And Goal magazine readers voted him the third most promising player in the country.

His wing play created space for and provided service to Tudor and Macdonald in the middle and they were rarely as effective when he was not playing. Speaking in 1973 Mac said "Stewart has skill, speed and confidence, and has played a big part in Newcastle's successful run".

On his day he could be a match winner, but although he always worked very hard he suffered from some inconsistency. A number of spells out of the side made him unsettled at times and he was particularly upset to be left out of the 1974 Cup Final side, a decision that Malcolm Macdonald believed was a major factor in United’s poor performance at Wembley.

Gordon Lee eventually used him as a wide midfielder although Stewart himself preferred to play as a winger.

Embed from Getty Images

Season by Season

Stewart Barrowclough
Stewart Barrowclough
Stewart Barrowclough
Pre Toon

Joined Barnsley aged 15 and made 9 appearances in the 1969/70 season. He attracted the interest of a number of clubs including Liverpool, Derby and Everton. He held talks with Derby manager Brian Clough, but Newcastle were first to make a firm offer.

1970/71 (2/1 -1)

Signed in July from Barnsley and spent most of the season learning his trade in the reserves although he did get a couple of opportunities in the first-team. However soon after his debut he was playing with the reserves and then the juniors. Having celebrated his debut by buying himself a jag he later admitted later that "he felt a right charlie” turning up for junior games in it. Harvey was pleased with his development, "he lacks a bit of physical strength, but he'll fill out in time and won't be so easily knocked off the ball". He suffered tremendous bouts of homesickness and thought about quitting at times.

1971/72 (32/2 - 3)

The departure of Keith Dyson meant he established himself in the side adding, as Harvey stated, "a little bite to the number 7 shirt". At one point (when he was not in the first eleven) he was on the verge of submitting a transfer request but decided against it. Harvey was certainly impressed saying that in 1970/71 he was like a young colt (all legs and no strength) but he had now matured into an exciting prospect. He went on to praise his speed and ball control and his vicious shot for someone with such a light frame. But when he was dropped after the Hereford game he asked Joe Harvey if he could leave. In typical style Harvey agreed to let him go, but then put him straight back in the side whereupon he had his best game.

1972/73 (55 - 8)

Really came to the fore and was one of most improved youngsters in the country. He scored on his debut for England U23 against Scotland, but had to withdraw from the Holland game due to a United fixture clash. Even though Sir Alf Ramsey tended to play without wingers he was widely tipped for the England 1974 World Cup squad, in the end he never won a full cap and England failed to qualify.

1973/74 (22/7 - 4)

Struggled at the start of season and Harvey believed this was partly because he had lost eight pounds in pre-season training. "He needs building up," said Joe, "and there is nothing better I know than a dip of milk stout." Although He was also troubled by a toe injury he worked his way back into the side and made a significant contribution in the FA Cup run. However, a late change in tactics saw him miss out on the Wembley final, a decision which Macdonald believed was significant in their defeat.

1974/75 (26/3- 5)

Another frustrating season for the Yorkshireman. Micky Burns had signed from Blackpool and taken over the Number 7 shirt and it looked likely that he would move on. But Burns' loss of form and subsequent spat with Harvey gave Stewart a route back into the side.

1975/76 (30/10 - 1)

Although he was involved in most of the matches, a quarter of his appearances were from the bench. As the season wore on Lee started to use him as a midfielder rather than a winger. Stewart was part of the United team beaten in the League Cup Final by Man City.

1976/77 (47 - 4)

Stewart had one of his most consistent season for United as he made the right sided midfielder position his own and partially rediscovered the form that had seen him capped at Under-23 level.

1977/78 (29/2 - 1)

As with nearly all the first team squad Stewart spent the summer months in dispute over his contract; unhappy with the one year deal he had been offered. He eventually signed up, but United never recovered from a disastrous start and were relegated. New manager Bill McGarry wanted to rebuild the team and Stewart left at the end of the season in an exchange deal with Birmingham which saw Terry Hibbitt return along with John Connolly.

Post United

Stewart only spent a year in the Midlands before enjoying a productive spell at Bristol Rovers. In February 1981 he moved back to his home town club and helped them to gain promotion from Division 3. He moved on to Mansfield at the start of the 1983/84 season and retired in 1985.


Portrait painting by Piotr Jozefowicz

Cards/stickers from DOINGTHE92