WIGAN Athletic’s manager when Martinez first arrived in the UK in 1995, Barrow returned to Wigan to join Martinez’ backroom staff as first team coach in 2009.


Born in Chorley on June 13, 1954, Barrow spent the early part of his playing career in non-league, working as a heating engineer to bolster his football earnings.

A strong, no-nonsense defender or midfield player, Barrow had spells with Chorley, Southport and Altrincham. He was a member of the Altrincham side beaten 4-1 by Liverpool in an FA Cup third round tie at Anfield in January 1981.

He entered the world of League football at the age of 27 when he signed for Wigan in August 1981.

Barrow helped Wigan win promotion under manager Larry Lloyd and had made 212 appearances for the Latics by the time he left for Chester City in 1986. He played on for a further eight seasons with Chester, and from 1988/89 doubled as assistant to manager Harry McNally.


Barrow succeeded McNally in the final weeks of the 1992/93 season and a year later guided Chester back to the third tier. However, Barrow resigned soon afterwards over a lack of backing from Chester’s owners, and rejoined Wigan.

Barrow was happy to work with the three Spanish players signed by Wigan’s ambitious owner Dave Whelen - Roberto Martinez, Isidro Diaz and Jesus Seba.

However, he was dismissed by Whelan and moved on to Rochdale, where he managed from 1996 to 1999.

Barrow had a second, less comfortable spell at Chester working under American owner Terry Smith. He then managed Bury after a spell as No2 to Andy Preece, and later worked as assistant to Graham Heathcote at Altrincham.

Barrow was reluctant to join Martinez at Swansea in 2007 but accepted a similar offer when the Spaniard took over at Wigan two years later.