ENGLAND under 21 boss Gareth Southgate admitted it would have been cruel not to have let John Stones start on his return to Oakwell.

Stones played the first half of England's warm-up game at Oakwell last Thursday night ahead of flying to the Czech Republic for the European Championships.

It was an emotional evening for the Thurlstone raised defender, 21, but he got a rousing reception from the 15,000 packed into three sides of Oakwell.

"He's very proud of having started at Barnsley," Southgate told the Chronicle. "I know he was really looking forward to the game and will be pleased with the reception he got from the supporters and be pleased that we won."