Scott Barrow

"You win, you win; you lose, you learn"


Scott’s earliest footballing memories are of watching Swansea City, he remembers watching Swansea play City both at the Vetch Field and Bootham Crescent.

From the age of 6, he was associated with Swansea. At one time, there was interest from Arsenal. Signing professional at Swansea, part of his early development include a season with a local non league club. In his case, Briton Ferry where his Dad was their manager. Speaking York Hospital Ball, Scott Barrow said his father is a well known figure in football in South Wales and his grandfather was a former professional footballer and sister a strong swimmer. His time there was effectively ended when he broke his femur. On the way to hospital, it was thought the doctors might have to amputate his leg. He was relieved when he came around after the operation to see he still had 2 legs, however, his footballing career was in severe doubt, he was told he’d never play football again.

Released by Swansea, he recovered and joined Port Talbot where he spent 4 seasons, winning Welsh semi pro caps and appearing in the Europa Cup, the UUFA website listed him as a “player to watch” in its preview of the tie which resulted in a 7-1 aggregate defeat to a Finnish side.


A few weeks later, he signed for Tamworth, managed by Gary Mills, for a reported £45,000. Impressing in their side, the club rejected an offer from League One Colchester. Shortly afterwards, he ruptured his ACL, a second career threatening injury. The injury was occurred when he slid into a drain which hadn't had its turf cover replaced, his studs stuck and snagged causing the injury. Tamworth effectively tried to wash their hands of him and he believes their club doctor was told to tell him a pack of lies regarding his prognosis.

Macclesfield / Newport / Merthyr Town

Released, only Conference side Macclesfield and John Askey would look at him, he cites Askey as “a man manager”. Back playing regularly football, he was named “Non League Player of the Month” in November 2014.

After a season, an offer to return to South Wales with Newport was too good to turn down.

His debut was a day of mixed emotions. Making his Football League debut, his euphoria was cut short when just after the final whistle he heard his good friend and agent had only a few hours to live, a friend who had been with Scott during his bad times and who'd encouraged Scott to keep going, vowing to live long enough to see Scott make his Football League debut, immediately after the game, he went to visit his friend in hospital draping his match worn shirt over his bed.

Released after a season, he joined Merthyr Town, possibly playing at a level which he found “too easy”, something the number of assists he made will support, 5 goals and 21 assists during the season.


The following summer, on the recommendation of John Askey, he took a call from Steve Watson. Expecting to spend just a season in the north east he was to spend 3 seasons with Gateshead. In his first season, he scored 5 goals and got 12 assists. He will speak highly of the club noting “they get recruitment right”. Watson told him, that he’d take Barrow with him to his next club.

At Gateshead, Scott recalled that in his second season, owner “Joe Callow” (exact name tbc) had plans to build a new stadium on top of the Metro Centre and an underwater casino under the River Tyne.

York City and Beyond

So, Barrow joined Watson at City in the summer of 2020. That first season was covid hit, his first and only City goal being expunged from the record books as the season was declared null and void. That said, he remembers it well as it was quite a classy affair using his standing, it was my “right foot, (it was) very rare for me, I beat a defender, cut inside and a very rare right foot shot which took a bounce of the wet turf”.

He recalls how awful it was playing in empty stadiums. For home games, City changed in the bar whilst the away team spread out across both dressing rooms to allow social distancing.

He recalls the toxicity of the 3-0 home defeat to Bradford PA in January 2022, it was “horrific, one of the worst games I’ve played in, worst experience of fans against the players”, the visitors had 3 shots and scored 3 goals. He recognised the fans’ support to get City through the next game, against high flying Gateshead, and start of good run which ended in play off victory. We “knew no one could beat us” and “the incredible atmosphere (against Chorley). We expected Brackley to tire, which they did whilst City were solid and hard to break down. It seemed written in the script when Boston won at AFC Fylde meaning a home final”.

Having verbally agreed a new 2 year contract before the Boston game, he was fearful that he would experience another Tamworth situation, fearing that City might turn their back on him as he fought to save his career after another ACL injury. The “club (YCFC) looked after me very well”.

City gave him a one year contract. After David Webb left, he became more involved in a coaching capacity under Mikey Morton. He spoke highly of Morton adding he “did an incredible amount of work behind the scenes” and quickly knew which players were up for the fight and which weren’t, someone who he remains close to.

He felt that John Askey brought everyone together, as a club, a feelgood factor returned. One thing Askey did was to bring Jason McGill to the training ground to meet the players and that lead to the chairman taking the players out for a meal once a month. Askey cared about people’s well being and noted how his mental health took a dip after David Webb arrived.

Speaking about chairmen, he thought their focus should be on the outside, building the club up, putting the right people in charge and not meddling on the playing side. Perhaps a dig at a recent short lived chairman.

Scott Barrow was very open about his mental health struggles and urged anyone in a similar position that the most important thing is speaking to people and not being afraid to ask for help.

Disheartened when overlooked for the troublesome left back spot under Neal Ardley, he jumped at the loan move to Darlington and a reunion with Steve Watson. The club moving from 16 to 56 points in 21 games to achieve a great relegation escape. Personally, he surprised himself with his performances at left back and at centre back (a position in which he was unfamiliar). Of City’s 2023/4 season, he said “Paddy (McLaughlin) and Lenell (John-Lewis) are unbelievable, great leaders” whilst he felt that “Ethan (Henderson) didn’t want to be at training but was pushed into it”. The sacking of Neal Ardley surprised him but wasn’t complimentary of his man management skills (“awful”) noting on one occasion, Ardley had Barrow travel 2 hours to do a bike session on a City away day when he could have done the same at home. “Neal Ardley looked after certain players and pushed others to the side”, said Barrow, although possibly a comment that could be made about most managers. A few days later, a well informed RnB poster said, "They (Neal Ardey's man management skills) simply didn't exist at all with most of the players".

He believes Adam Hinshelwood’s attractive style that brings risks and that the Altrincham defeat was in many ways similar to the Bradford PA loss, a rallying cry for unity.

Of the City managers, he worked under, both Steve Watson and John Askey focused preparation on City whilst Neal Ardley spoke well analysed well, someone he could listen to him all day long.

When asked if he’d seen any players during the 2023/4 NL / NLN season who City should sign for the 2024/5 season, one name stood out in his mind. Cedric Main. “(City) missed a trick; he (Main) has a lot to his game, I told Steve Watson to sign him. (He has a) good all-round game, very quick, strong, good all round play, good at bringing other players into the game. He needs right manager”. He noted how Darlington had improved points wise but the some managers might see Main’s match GPS of low 9 / high 8 running on the low side when compared to the average 13 kilometres per game is the norm.

On loan at Darlington, he felt he’d played well, both at left back and, for the first time in his career, at centre back.

He was released by City in April 2024. When Scott visited York City South a couple of weeks later, he was in the middle of a 4 week UEFA B coaching license course alongside Jack McKay, Paddy McLaughlin, Ryan Whitley, Michael Coulson and others. Steve Torpey was spotted at the course, presumably acting in an assessor capacity. Barrow noted that the course was a considerable step up from when he’d done his “C” license many years ago.

He hopes that not only will the course provide a different perspective on football, but it might be useful in his career, either inside or outside football. Through his sister, a PE teacher based in Colchester, he has connections with private and state schools in North East which could possibly lead to a position in a school if he decided to go down that route.

Scott is grateful to York City, the club and its supporters, he has been well looked after by both and will remain a fan of YCFC and expects to be often seen at LNER.

Footnote: Although not reported by City at the time, he noted “Lewis (Bulmer, City’s physio) goes on to bigger and better things” having joined Doncaster in a similar capacity as soon as City’s season ended.