A year of Champions League wins, World Cup finals, glittering careers ending and others beginning. We look back at 2023 in Barnsley sport.


Teenage cyclist Imogen Wolff, of Silkstone Common, was crowned National Junior Women’s Cyclo Cross champion on a muddy course in Westmorland in the Lake District.

Hemingfield cyclist Jenson Young won the under 23s title at the National Cyclocross Trophy Series.

World Snooker events returned to the Metrodome for the first time since before the Covid-19 pandemic – but the qualifiers for the Six Red World Championships and Welsh Open were behind-closed-doors.

Footballer Bethany England, from Kingstone, moved from Chelsea to their WSL rivals Tottenham for a reported British record of £250,000.

Veteran coach Bert Beaumont was named in the Basketball England 2022 awards for services to the sport after running basketball teams in Barnsley for more than half a century.

Barnsley RUFC were mathematically certain to finish bottom of Yorkshire Division Two but collected their first point of the season – a bonus point as they were edged 16-13 at home to North Ribblesdale. They would lose all 22 matches, pulling out of ten due to a lack of players.

Penistone Footpath Runner Graihagh Turner won the under 15 girls’ category at the Yorkshire Cross Country Championships at Lightwater Valley.


Katherine Sciver-Brunt’s glittering cricket career came to an end as England lost their World Cup semi-final to hosts South Africa. The three-time World Cup winner and England’s record wicket-taker announced her retirement later in the year.

Motorsport star Oliver Rowland, from Penistone, was also competing in Cape Town but his team pulled out of the Formula E race due to ‘rear suspension safety concerns.’

Sprinter Joe Ferguson, from Darton, collided with another athlete while warming up for a competition and fractured a cheekbone in two places, an eye socket in two places and a sinus wall. He would miss 12 weeks of training which hindered his chances of reaching a second successive World Championships.

Boxer Hunter Lambert, 16, from Wath, won the under 48kg national Youth Cadet championship.

Barnsley Tennis Club narrowly avoided relegation with 3-1 a home victory against Beauchief.


Boxer Callum Simpson made an impressive TV debut after signing for promoter BOXXER. The super-middleweight from Barnsley stopped Swiss opponent Celso Neves in the third round at the Manchester Arena, with then Reds captain Liam Kitching accompanying him to the ring days after netting the last goal in a derby win over Sheffield Wednesday.

Boxers Dempsey Wale and Danny Hall also won fights at the Metrodome.

Penistone Footpath Runner Malcolm Rose represented England Masters at the Chester 10k and won gold in the men’s over70 age category.


Barnsley man and former cricketer Azeem Rafiq said he was ‘vindicated again’ after five former Yorkshire CCC players or staff members were found to have used racist language by an investigation by the Cricket Discipline Committee following his revelations of racism in the sport.

Wath RUFC missed out on promotion from Yorkshire Division Two as, despite winning on the final day, they stayed in fourth place.


Wath Rugby Union Club won the Papa John’s Community Cup Northern Plate following a thrilling 25-23 win over Ripon at the Darlington Arena.

Oliver Rowland left his Formula E team Mahindra midway through the season and would rejoin former team Nissan later in the year.

Hollie Naughton, the Barnsley-born squash player who plays for Canada internationally, was beaten by the fifth seed in the second round of the World Championships in Chicago.

Lachlan Moorhead, from Penistone, narrowly missed out on a place in the World Judo Championships quarter-finals in Doha, Qatar.

Cyclist Jenson Young, from Hemingfield, won the Yorkshire Under 23 classic road race which took place in the Penistone area.

At the Yorkshire Athletics Championship in Cudworth, there were gold medals for Barnsley youngsters Jonson Hughes, Maya Schofield, Dominic Brennan and Vanessa Ndambakuwa.


Thurlstone man John Stones completed a historic treble with Manchester City who won the Champions League for the first time.

Stones, who started at Barnsley FC, was one of the star players in City’s win over Inter Milan in Istanbul.

He had already helped them win the Premier League and, earlier in June, played in the FA Cup final win over Manchester City, for which Royston man Scott Ledger was an assistant referee.

Barnsley Women’s FC announced their move to the Olympic Legacy Park in Sheffield after failing to secure a long-term home in Barnsley.

Richard Riggs, from Higham, was selected to represent Great Britain at the World Sumo Wrestling Championships in Japan.

Ice hockey player Alex Oldale, 18, from Hoyland, agreed a deal with Manchester Storm – making him the youngest professional goaltender in the English leagues.

Runner Graihagh Turner was two minutes clear of the rest in a Yorkshire vest at the Junior Inter Counties Fell Championships.


Runner Joe Ferguson beat his 100m personal best at the Newham Open in London.

He then collected silver over 200m in the British Championships for the second successive season but missed out on the qualifying time for the World Championship.

The Barnsley Town Centre Cycling Races were not held, following a decision by Barnsley Council to stop staging them.

Boxer Callum Simpson registered a 12th professional victory by beating Scotsman Boris Crighton on points in Manchester Arena. On the same night, Dempsey Wale won on points over Indian Gurjant Singh at the Metrodome.

Yorkshire CCC were docked 48 points in the County Championship and given a six-figure fine for their handling of the Azeem Rafiq racism scandal.

Pool player Elliot Sanderson, from Stairfoot, reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup representing Great Britain in Lugo, Spain.


Bethany England became the first footballer from Barnsley to play in a World Cup final, either men’s or women’s, when she came off the bench in the loss to Spain in Australia. The Kingstone woman was used as an impact substitute throughout the tournament, scoring a penalty in the quarter-final shoot-out win over Nigeria – one of whose coaches was Barnsley-based Kyle Quigley.

Cyclist Imogen Wolff finished in the top five in the junior women’s race at the World Cycling Championships in Glasgow.

Jack Shutt, from Elsecar, made his first Yorkshire CCC appearance in almost a year when he played against Essex in the One Day Cup. He then took his best ever 50-over figures with four for 49 against Middlesex.

Runners Jonson Hughes and Maya Schofield won golds at the Northern Championships in Middlesbrough.


Boxer Callum Simpson made it 13 wins from as many professional fights as he registered a wide points victory over Mexican veteran Jose de Jesus Macias at York Hall in London.

He picked up the WBA continental title, which moved him into the top 15 for that organisation, and set his sights on a British title fight and an Oakwell fight.

Barnsley RUFC said a mix-up cost them a home walkover defeat despite actually winning the match 31-14. They missed a deadline to confirm they had enough players to field a team at home to Thirsk so the league gave the visitors the win before they played a friendly.

Wath Academy student Jamie Gill represented Ireland A in their rugby league 82-6 win against Poland.

Brierley boxer Wyatt Holden won a Yorkshire belt while Richard Price represented Great Britain at the 2023 World Triathlon Age Group Championships in Pontevedra, Spain.


Jim Noone, from Barugh Green, called time on his illustrious 37-year boat racing career after finishing second in the European Power Boating Championships in Germany.

Shoany Hudson of Barnsley Karate Centre competed in the World Karate Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

Borough of Barnsley swimmer Alexander Matze won a silver and bronze at the Yorkshire Association lower age group winter competition.

Blaine Wilson, from Shafton, won his professional boxing debut against late replacement Anthony Morton in Oldham at lightweight.

Sonnyboy Hughes, a 17-year-old boxer from Darfield, won the National Development Championships in Birmingham.

Gary Briscoe, who is from Penistone and runs for Barnsley AC, finished second at the Yorkshire Marathon in York, with a new PB by almost five minutes – earning him the chance to represent England in the over35 age group.


Barnsley Rugby Union Club ended a 29-game losing run with a 30-28 win at fellow strugglers Burley in Yorkshire League Three.

Squash player Hollie Naughton picked up two medals at the Pan American Games held in Santiago, Chile.

She won a bronze medal individually and a silver in the team event.

Lachlan Moorhead reached the third round of the European Judo Championships.

Barnsley man Jack Shutt was released by Yorkshire CCC.

Barnsley horse trainer Mick Appleby won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint in California.

The final PDC darts event took place at the Metrodome after it was removed as a regular venue on the tour.

Cyclist Imogen Wolff earned her first ever World Cup podium spot in the women’s under 19 race in Dublin.


December has been a quiet month, partly due to heavy rain and some snow – with most events being cancelled.

Cyclist Jenson Young finished first at the North of England Cyclocross Championships.


Wombwell Town gained promotion to the Northern Counties East League.

They finished fifth in the County Senior League and made the required changes to their ground so joined Worsbrough Bridge and Athersley Rec in Division One, with the latter given a reprieve despite finishing last.

Dodworth MW and Wombwell Main were both in contention for the County Senior Premier title on the final day but lost out to Swinton Athletic who beat Dodworth 4-3 in the last game.

West Bretton won the Barnsley FC Challenge Cup final 6-1 over Darfield Cross Keys – at Oakwell after Barnsley FC allowed Sunday clubs back for the first time since 2014 – but lost 6-1 to Athersley Rec in the Hospital Cup final.

The Garrison won the Sunday League Premier Division.

A birthday hat-trick from Westville’s Matt Thornton ensured the Wath and West Melton OAP Charity Cup was snatched away from Queens United.


Barnsley Woolley Miners retained their Yorkshire Premier Twenty20 Blast title with victory in the final.

Cawthorne won the Plate event on the same day, beating Wath in the final, then gained promotion back to the top flight.

Also in the South Yorkshire League, Monk Bretton won their league title while there were promotions for Rockingham and Higham, who went up off the penultimate ball of the campaign.

Then Rotherham United manager Matt Taylor played twice for Penistone CC, including on the last day as they just avoided relegation.

Hoylandswaine’s run of Huddersfield League titles ended but they won the Twenty20 Cup.

Worsbrough Bridge Ladies won the South Yorkshire Softball Division One play-off final.