Barrowcliff got into football through attending the Boys' Brigade and scouts as a youth. Barrowcliff began his career at Isthmian League Division Two South side Ruislip Manor in 1988 and moved up a league to sign for Isthmian League Premier Division side Hayes in February 1989. He made 8 appearances in what remained of the 1988–89 season. During the 1989–90 season, he made 21 appearances and scored three goals before departing in March 1990. While at Hayes, Barrowcliff featured on loan for Isthmian League Division One side Chalfont St Peter in January 1990. He moved across the Isthmian League Premier Division to sign for Harrow Borough in March 1990. He departed early in the 1990–91 season to move Isthmian Premier Division side St Albans City. He scored his first goal for the club in a 4–0 league win over Carshalton Athletic on 15 October 1990. He scored in successive matches in late December, netting in a 3–0 win over Hendon and in a 5–2 defeat to Kingstonian. Barrowcliff made 24 appearances and scored three goals for St Albans during the 1990–91 season and left to join divisional rivals Woking in February 1990.
Barrowcliff moved on to Isthmian Premier side Kingstonian and played at Conference level for the first time when he signed for Wycombe Wanderers in 1992. Barrowcliff made just six appearances and left after the season to join Isthmian League Premier Division side Sutton United. The club had a run to the final of the Surrey Senior Cup during the 1993–94 season, with Barrowcliff in a 3–0 quarter-final win over Egham Town. Another highlight of Barrowcliff's season was scoring in a 3–2 FA Cup third round giant killing over Division One side Notts County on 8 January 1994. Barrowcliff signed for Isthmian League Premier Division side Aylesbury United during the 1994–95 season and made 19 appearances before leaving at the end of the season.
Barrowcliff joined newly promoted Conference side Stevenage Borough in the summer of 1995. He was a vital part of the side which stormed to the 1995–96 Conference title, though the club would not be promoted to the Football League due to their Broadhall Way ground not meeting Football League requirements. Barrowcliff made over 50 appearances during the season and scored 8 goals. He stayed with the club for the 1996–97 season, though Stevenage could only manage a third-place finish. A highlight of his season was reaching the FA Cup third round, though Boro were knocked out by Division One side Birmingham City. He won the club's 1995–96 Supporters' Player Of The Year award and was also captain of the side. He returned in April 2006 to represent a Stevenage Borough Legends team in a fundraising match versus an Arsenal team made up of celebrities.
Barrowcliff got his shot at league football when he signed for Division Two side Brentford for £60,000 on 1 August 1997. He made his debut in a 3–0 opening day defeat to Millwall and started Brentford's first six games in all competitions, but didn't feature again until November. He made substitute cameos and occasional starts, before injury ended his season in December. He was transfer-listed in February 1998 and made 16 appearances during the 1997–98 season. Barrowcliff's contract was cancelled by mutual consent after Brentford's final-day relegation to Division Three at the hands of Bristol Rovers.
Stevenage Borough (loan)
Only two months after signing him, Brentford manager Eddie May loaned Barrowcliff to former club Stevenage Borough in October 1997. He played five games and scored no goals during his month-long spell.
Following his release from Brentford, Barrowcliff dropped to the Isthmian League Premier Division to sign for Hendon in the summer of 1998. He moved across the division to sign for Chesham United later in the year.
Barrowcliff signed for Isthmian League Premier Division side Slough Town in January 1999, linking up with former Chesham boss Graham Roberts and former Brentford teammate Leon Townley. He made his debut on 2 January in a 1–0 defeat to Heybridge Swifts. He scored his first goal for the club in a 3–0 away win over Carshalton Athletic on 16 February and bagged another goal in a 2–0 win over former side Harrow Borough two games later. Barrowcliff made 18 appearances over what remained of the 1998–99 season and scored three goals. Barrowcliff scored his first goal of the 1999–00 season in a 1–1 draw with former club Hendon on 17 August. He made 31 appearances during the 1999–00 season and scored one goal. After a period out of the team, Barrowcliff scored his only goal of the 2000–01 season in an Isthmian League Full Members Cup win over Aldershot Town on 24 August 2000. He was a virtual ever-present from November onwards and finished the 2000–01 season having made 32 appearances. His performances were a rare highlight of a season which saw Slough suffer relegation. Playing at Isthmian League Division One level for the first time since 1990, Barrowcliff was again a virtual ever-present for Slough during the 2001–02 season. He scored his first goal of the campaign in a 4–0 thrashing of Harlow Town on 23 October and a second in a 4–1 Berks & Bucks Senior Cup win over Abingdon Town on 19 February 2002. He made 46 appearances during the 2001–02 season and scored two goals. Barrowcliff played 39 matches during the 2002–03 season before departing the club in February 2003.
Barrowcliff signed for Isthmian League Division One South side Metropolitan Police in February 2003. He departed the club in September 2003.
Barrowcliff returned to Slough (now playing in the Isthmian League Division One South) in September 2003 and had a successful 2003–04 season with the club. He made 27 appearances and helped Slough to a fourth-place finish, which saw the Rebels secure promotion back to the Isthmian League Premier Division. During his two spells at Slough, Barrowcliff made 193 appearances and scored six goals.
Barrowcliff returned to Metropolitan Police in the summer of 2004. He helped the club secure a fifth-place finish and qualification for the playoffs during the 2004–05 season, making 10 league appearances, but the Met went out in the semi-finals to Bromley. Barrowcliff was captain of the side during the 2005–06 season and scored in a 3–0 win over Burgess Hill Town on 23 March 2006. He made 13 appearances during the 2006–07 season. Barrowcliff failed to make an appearance during the 2007–08 and 2008–09 seasons and called time on his career in the summer of 2009. After his retirement, he became the club's physiotherapist. He represented the club's Veterans team in the 2012–13 Isthmian Veterans' Cup and played in the final, which was lost 2–1 to Northwood Vets.Stevenage Borough
Football Conference: 1995–96
Herts Charity Cup: 1995–96
Stevenage Borough Supporters' Player of the Year: 1996–97
Barrowcliff worked as a personal trainer and currently works for the Metropolitan Police.