The club’s former chairman, whose initial investment and ability to attract the world’s best players to Franklin’s Gardens set the foundations for success, believes that the side’s Aviva Premiership and Amlin Challenge Cup glory surpasses even the legendary 2000 Heineken Cup success.
“I don’t think we’ve had a better season,” Barwell commented. “There have been some good seasons – when we won the Heineken Cup is an obvious one – but as a season this year has been brilliant.
“I think the build-up made it that bit more special, beating Leicester in the semi-final in the best atmosphere I’ve ever heard here, and then coming from behind against Bath for the Amlin.
“It was a big sigh of relief for me to finally lift that trophy as English champions.”
Having walked the Twickenham turf and soaked in the trophy celebrations on Saturday, Barwell also walked in the trophy parade in the Market Square a day later and was delighted by the town’s celebration.
“It was overwhelming for me, but I’m past my sell by date!” he added. “I couldn’t sleep on the Friday night and was up early on Saturday. At the end of it all I felt like I’d played in the game.
“I think I was probably more happy on Sunday in the Market Square, I’ve never seen the people of the town so happy. We’ve spread a lot of joy and I’m just so pleased for the supporters.”