A look at the five former Barnsley players currently at the World Cup in Qatar. They are England's John Stones and Kieran Trippier, Wales' Kieffer Moore and Adam Davies, and Canada's Ike Ugbo.
JOHN STONES, ENGLAND
A decade ago, Stones was struggling to get his place back in Barnsley’s team as they battled relegation from the Championship.
He had just played in a 1-0 home loss to Huddersfield Town which was infamous as the only Reds appearance of the seriously unfit Mido who was booked for a wild tackle and did little else.
Stones would spend three matches on the bench, alongside the likes of Tom Kennedy, Chris Dagnall and Ben Alnwick, before breaking back into the side in December then being sold in January to Everton.
The next year, the Thurlstone man was in England’s provisional squad for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil then was an ever-present in Russia in 2018 as they reached the semi-finals, having netted twice against Panama in the group stage.
He has 59 caps in an extraordinary career which has seen him win four Premier League titles, an FA Cup, two EFL Cups and play in a Champions League final with Manchester City.
Stones has a strong claim to be one of the greatest sportspeople ever from Barnsley, and a successful World Cup would certainly strengthen that.
The only players with more England caps in the World Cup squad are Kyle Walker, Jordan Henderson, Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling.
Stones was part of the City team that suffered a shock 2-1 home loss to Brentford on Saturday but the Bees’ two-goal hero Ivan Toney – the former Barnsley loanee – has been left out of the England squad for Qatar.
KIERAN TRIPPIER, ENGLAND
A professional career which has taken the right-back to a second World Cup with England began on a Tuesday evening in Middlesbrough in 2009 when an 18-year-old Trippier played 77 minutes of a 2-1 loss for loan club Barnsley.
That loan, from Manchester City, was cut short but he returned the following season and played 39 Championship games for the Reds, scoring in derbies against Leeds and Doncaster.
He recently told the Undr The Cosh podcast that his year at Barnsley was ‘like a stag do’ and there was a ‘big drinking culture’ at the club.
He added that he wanted to sign permanently in the summer of 2011 but Keith Hill replaced Mark Robins and signed Scott Wiseman instead.
He played alongside current Reds coach Martin Devaney for Barnsley and then spent the following four campaigns in a dressing room with Reds head coach Michael Duff at Burnley.
He has since played in a Champions League final with Tottenham and won the Spanish league with Atletico Madrid before impressing with Newcastle United this season. With Reece James injured, Trippier, 32, is likely to contend with Trent Alexander-Arnold to start on the right for England. He has 37 caps and scored a free-kick in the semi-final of the last World Cup against Croatia.
ADAM DAVIES AND KIEFFER MOORE, WALES
When Wales face England in their final group game on November 29, there could be four former Barnsley players on the pitch.
It is fairly unlikely as, although Moore has a good chance of playing along with Trippier and Stones for England, Davies appears to be Wales’ third choice goalkeeper behind Premier League stoppers Danny Ward and Wayne Hennessey. Davies played 209 of his 253 career games for Barnsley, from 2014 to 2019 – helping them to promotion from League One twice.
He has been in and out of the first teams of first Stoke City and now Sheffield United, for whom he has played three times this season.
Whereas Davies has three Wales caps, Moore has 28 and only superstars Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey have netted more than his nine international goals.
Striker Moore first received a Wales call-up as a Barnsley player in 2019, although he would move to Wigan Athletic later that summer having scored 23 goals in 55 Reds games.
After being a regular Championship scorer with the Latics then Cardiff City, he reached the Premier League with Bournemouth this year and recently scored twice against Tottenham Hotspur then once last weekend against Everton.
Moore is the only one of the five ex-Reds selected for the World Cup who did not make his professional debut for Barnsley.
Moore and Davies, now both 30, were part of Wales’ Euros 2020 squad and will now be part of their first World Cup since 1958.
IKE UGBO, CANADA
Possibly one of the more surprising names on this list, given his disappointing loan spell with Barnsley and also that he is in the Canada squad despite being born in England to Nigerian parents. But he lived in Canada from the ages of five to ten before returning to London and joining Chelsea’s academy.
The Blues loaned him in the summer of 2017 to Championship Barnsley, who had lost the majority of their promotion heroes from the previous year and were struggling to replace them adequately under the increasingly disillusioned Paul Heckingbottom.
Despite scoring in a 3-0 win over Sunderland and giving Jan Vertonghen problems at Wembley against Tottenham in the EFL Cup, his 18-game loan was not a success and ended in January, with Barnsley just above the drop zone.
He has since called his time with the Reds ‘quite a lonely experience’ and ‘a very big shock’, and added: “My confidence went completely. Even when I did come on, I wasn’t prepared mentally. It took a lot out of me. My training then wasn’t on top because my head wasn’t in the right place.”
He went down to League One but scored just twice in 17 games for MK Dons and once in 16 for Scunthorpe.
A move away from England changed Ugbo’s career.
He netted 13 goals on loan to Dutch second tier side Roda in 2019/20 then 16 at Belgian top flight club Cercle Brugge in 2020/21 before joining Genk permanently.
He has been on loan to French top flight club Troyes throughout 2022.
The former England youth international switched allegiance to Nigeria in September last year but did not play a game then changed to Canada two months later.
He has eight caps, including in several qualification matches as they reached their first World Cup since 1986.