Cricketer Katherine Brunt took five for 60 – her best Test match figures since 2009 – but England drew their only Ashes Test in Australia and would eventually lose the series.

Barnsley man and former Yorkshire player Azeem Rafiq welcomed a damning government report into racism in English cricket. The report from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) select committee said there was ‘deep-seated’ racism in the sport, while threatening to withdraw public funding from the ECB if that was not addressed.

The Hughes brothers Jonson and Sonny Boy both won bronze medals in their age groups for Barnsley AC at the Yorkshire Cross Country Championships.

Barnsley Schoolgirls under 12s reached a national final with a 7-0 win at Swansea in January.


It was a big month for boxing as Josh Wale, Barnsley’s most successful ever boxer, retired with his 32nd professional victory at the Metrodome.

That ended a career which had seen him win the British title and challenge for the European.

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His younger brother Dempsey also won while, elsewhere, Matty Heppenstall won on his debut after a series of setbacks including a queried brain scan before seeing two shows cancelled.

Callum Simpson won in a round against an opponent announced as Michael Osmanu Osunla from Ghana. But the British Boxing Board of Control have since investigated whether it was Osunla, after doubts were raised over his identity.

Sprinter Joe Ferguson, from Darton, took bronze at the British Indoor Championships over 200m.


Koby Cook, an 18-year-old bricklayer from Monk Bretton, finished fifth in the slopestyle event representing Great Britain at the European Youth Winter Olympics in Finland.

A Barnsley Schoolboys football team qualified for a national final for the first time since 1998 and the first time ever at under 14s level. They would eventually lose the final at Stoke City’s stadium.

Former Hoylandswaine cricketer Alex Lees made his England debut in the Test series in West Indies.

Barnsley Hockey Club finished their season with an 11th straight victory.


Cricketer Brunt missed out on a third 50-over World Cup as England were easily beaten by Australia in the final in Christchurch, New Zealand.

They had lost their first three group matches but won the next four and the semi-final.

In football, Worsbrough Bridge FC under 16s won the Sheffield and Hallamshire County Cup final.

Boxers Danny Hall and Heppenstall claimed 39-37 victories in Rotherham.

Ben Longstaff, an electrician from Darton, won to become British kickboxing champion.


Barnsley RUFC celebrated the Yorkshire Division Three league title.

They had won 23 of their 26 games and finished top by two points, returning to Yorkshire Two after being relegated in 2020 then seeing a season cancelled due to Covid-19.

Ryan Burrows, from Wath, retired after 15 years in professional rugby union.

Sprinter Joe Ferguson smashed his 100m best by almost a third of a second with 10.25 at the Loughborough International meeting. He also broke his 200m personal best with 20.63.

Footballer Bethany England, from Kingstone, won the WSL title and FA Cup with Chelsea.

Horizon under 14s boys football team made history by becoming the first school side from Barnsley to win the Elite National Final – held at The Hawthorns, home of West Bromwich Albion.

Sue Bailey, from Dodworth, was one of the Great Britain table tennis squad who were unable to travel to a competition in Montenegro due to traffic chaos at British airports.


Sprinter Joe Ferguson, from Darton, qualified for the World Athletics Championships after slicing more than a third of a second off his 200m personal best to take silver at the British Championships. He would reach the semi-final in Oregon, USA.

Amanda Potter won the over35 100m at the British Masters Athletics Championships.

Footballer Lucy Watson played for England in the Under 19s European Championships in Czech Republic.

She would later sign for Chelsea.

Katherine Brunt announced her retirement from Test cricket.

Barnsley man Richard Damms was one of the former Yorkshire CCC staff who won their unfair dismissal case against the club following the Azeem Rafiq racism scandal.

Seven others were charged by the ECB following including former England players Michael Vaughan, Gary Ballance, Tim Bresnan and Matthew Hoggard.

Rebecca Brown fulfilled her late father’s dream by being selected for the Great Britain shooting team. The HGV driver from Darton went to the European Compak Championships in Spain.


Footballer Bethany England was part of the England squad which made history by winning the Women’s European Championship for the first time.

The Kingstone woman was left on the bench throughout the competition, on home soil, and admitted it took her ‘a long time to feel I deserved my medal’ before relishing being part of history.

The Barnsley Town Centre Cycling Races returned after a three-year break due to Covid and were called ‘one of the highlights of the British calendar’.

Professional cyclist Damien Clayton, from Cawthorne, broke his hip after coming off his bike.

He returned within three months for the final races of the season and says next year will be his last.

There were wins for boxers Callum Simpson, Dempsey Wale and Danny Hall at the Metrodome.


Lachlan Moorhead, from Penistone, won judo gold at the home Commonwealth Games. The 21-year-old won all four fights in the 81kg category and heralded a ‘phenomenal journey’ from training as a child at the club his father set up in their hometown.

There was also success for Hollie Naughton, originally from Barnsley but representing Canada, who dedicated her silver medal in squash to both places.

It was a more difficult event for cricketer Katherine Brunt and table tennis player Sue Bailey, both from Dodworth, who both lost their semi-finals and then the bronze medal matches.

A tearful Brunt said she felt they had ‘let the country down’.

Sprinter Joe Ferguson was left out of the Great Britain squad for the European Championships, saying the decision was ‘tough to take.’

Cricketer Jack Shutt, from Elsecar, was part of the Yorkshire team that just missed out on the knock-out stages of the One Day Cup. He took nine wickets in six group games.

Motorsport star Oliver Rowland, from Penistone, gained his best result of the Formula E season – a second-placed finish in Seoul, at the final race of the year which he spent competing for India team Mahindra. He was congratulated online by Indian cricket star Virat Kohli.


Jack Shutt made a rare County Championship appearance in Yorkshire’s one-wicket loss to Essex.

The Headingley team were relegated from Division One later that month.

Boxing coach Mick Wale promoted his 100th amateur show.

Barnsley RUFC started their Yorkshire Division Two season but could not field a side in the first game due to low numbers. They pulled out of several other games and are currently well-adrift in last place.

Footballer Bethany England netted twice in England’s 10-0 win over Luxembourg.

Shoany Hudson took bronze representing England’s blind and partially sighted squad at the Commonwealth Games karate event, which was held separately to the main multi-sport event.

Boxer Alex Taylor beat John Spencer on points in Rotherham.

Barnsley AC’s Scott Hinchcliffe won the Sheffield 10k in 31-48.


Boxer Callum Simpson won the light heavyweight Central Area title, with Barnsley FC players Liam Kitching, Luke Thomas, Josh Benson and Luca Connell cheering him on.

Dempsey Wale and Danny Hall also stayed unbeaten with wins.

Amateur boxer Hunter Lambert, 16, from Wath, became a national champion.

Judo star Lachlan Moorhead reached the second round of the World Judo Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan but lost to the defending champion.

Azeem Rafiq announced his intentions to leave Barnsley, and the UK in general, after the fall-out from him revealing a racism scandal in English cricket.

Police were understood to be looking into personal threats against the Gawber man, both online and in person, and CCTV images of someone defecating in his parents’ garden.

Former Rockingham cricketer Tony Munyonga played for Zimbabwe in the Twenty20 World Cup.

Penistone Grammar School pupil Tadek Kunicki-Holda finished third in his category of the English Schools Fell Running Championships.


Barnsley Women’s FC played in front of more than 28,000 fans at Newcastle United’s St James’ Park in the FA Cup.

It was the largest crowd in the competition’s history, away from Wembley.

The Reds lost 2-1 but were thrilled to be part of history and are focused on their promotion challenge in the National League Division One North.

Victor Radley – an Australian rugby league player who qualifies for England through his father from Barnsley – was part of the England team which reached the World Cup semi-final but lost to Samoa.

Sue Bailey missed out on a medal at the World Para Table Tennis Championships in Spain, losing in the mixed doubles quarter-finals and the first round of the women’s singles.

Running brothers Jonson and Sonny Boy Hughes were part of the team which won the National under 17s Championship.

They both posted the fastest times in their individual legs.


Thurlstone man John Stones represented England at a fourth major tournament.

The defender was a regular starter as the Three Lions reached the quarter-final in Qatar, losing to holders France. He was generally praised for his performances and moved onto 64 caps.

Dempsey Wale gained his first stoppage win as a professional boxer at the Metrodome.

Cyclist Jenson Young competed against some of the biggest names in the sport at a cyclocross event in Dublin.

Judo player Lachlan Moorhead travelled to Jerusalem for the World Masters but lost in the first round.