Malcolm Barrass

Malcolm Barrass

Malcolm Barrass, the son of professional footballer, Matthew Barrass, was born in Blackpool on 15th December 1924. He played at centre-forward for Ford Motors until signing for Bolton Wanderers in November 1944.

Walter Rowley who had become manager on the retirement of Charles Foweraker was able to make use of players who had returned to England after military victories in North Africa and Italy. The team that season included Harry Hubbick, Nat Lofthouse, George Hunt, Jack Hurst, Tommy Sinclair, Willie Moir, Albert Geldard, Jack Atkinson, Stan Hanson, Ray Westwood, Tom Woodward, Jackie Roberts, Don Howe and Ernie Forrest.

In the first round of the Football League War Cup (North) Bolton beat Accrington Stanley 4-1 with Nat Lofthouse scoring two of the goals. Lofthouse went on to score a hat-trick against Blackpool. This was followed by victories over Newcastle United and Wolverhampton Wanderers to reach the final against Manchester United.

The final was played over two legs. In the first game Nat Lofthouse scored in a 1-0 victory at Bolton. The return game finished 2-2 with both Bolton's goals being scored by Malcolm Barras. Therefore Bolton won the final 3-2.

On 2nd June 1945, Bolton played the winners of the Football League War Cup (South). Chelsea took an early lead but George Hunt scored an equalizer early in the second-half. Just before the end of the game Malcolm Barras was brought down in the penalty area. As Lol Hamlett walked up to take the penalty, a number of upset Chelsea fans invaded the pitch and after a short scuffle grabbed the ball and for a while they refused to give it back. After the ball was retrieved and the fans cleared from the pitch, Hamlett scored the winning goal.

Barrass was a versatile player and on one occasion, against Manchester City, he replaced Nat Lofthouse at centre-forward and scored four goals in a 5-1 victory. Eventually he established himself as the club's centre-half.

Malcolm Barrass won his first and international cap for England againstWales on October, on 20th October 1951. Also in the team that day was Tom Finney, Nat Lofthouse, Laurie Scott and Billy Wright. The game was drawn 1-1. Barrass also played against Northern Ireland (2-1) and Scotland (2-2).

In the 1952-53 season Bolton Wanderers beat Notts County (1-0), Luton Town (1-0), Gateshead (1-0) and Everton (4-3) to reach the FA Cup final. Their opponents, Blackpool, was managed by Joe Smith, the hero of their 1923 FA Cup victory. Despite goals by Nat Lofthouse and Willie Moir, Bolton lost the game 4-3.

After scoring 27 goals in 357 games for Bolton Wanderers Barrass joined Sheffield United in 1956. He later became player-manager of Wigan Athletic.