How Are They Doing

Reverse fixture – Barnsley 2 FGR 0 (29 Oct 22).

Barnsley are currently 4th in L1 with 75 points.

April results:-

Barnsley 2 Shrewsbury 1 (Cadden scores but is sent off so will miss FGR match)

Burton 2 Barnsley  1 (Cadden)

Barnsley 5 Morecambe 0


Michael Duff in his Cheltenham days winning Manager of the Month.

Michael Duff is no stranger to Gloucestershire – In a career spanning from 1995 to 2016, in which he made over 700 appearances, he played as a defender for Carterton Town, Cheltenham Town, Cirencester Town (on loan) and Burnley. At international level, Duff earned 24 caps for Northern Ireland. From 2018 to 2022, he was the manager of L1 club Cheltenham Town, having previously managed the Burnley Reserves for two years.

Duff led Cheltenham Town to their first ever automatic promotion from League Two as manager on 27 April 2021. His team subsequently finished the season as League Two champions.

He is believed to be the only player to have played in each of the top eight tiers of English football in ascending order.

Ones to watch

Josh Benson

Josh Benson won the Sky Bet League One Goal of the Month for his sensational strike against Charlton Athletic in September.

Originally from Essex he started at Arsenal as a schoolboy before making joining Burnley. He played on loan at Grimsby before joining Barnsley in July 21.

Devante Cole

Devante Cole, son of Andy Cole who played for Manchester United & Newcastle, is Barnsley’s current top scorer.  He first played for Barnsley on loan from Manchester City in 2014 after playing for 7 other clubs in between, both north and south of the border, he joined Barnsley permanently in 2021. Somebody was a bit indecisive.

Rovers Connections

Liam Kitching made 44 appearances for FGR between 2019-20.
Nicky Cadden made 77 appearances between 2020-22 and scored 9 goals.

His twin brother is a professional footballer as was his father so be suspicious if he comes out for the second half with a different hair cut or looking older.

James Norwood made 172 appearances in 2 spells at FGR between 2010- 2015 and scored 48 goals – initially on loan from Exeter and then permanently. He is FGR’s second top all-time scorer behind Christian Doidge.

Jamaica International Ethan Pinnock (FGR 2016-17, 37 apps, 3 goals) later played for Barnsley- now at Premier League Brentford. He was a key player in FGR’s promotion to the EFL.

Jack Aitchison played 74 times and scored 10 goals over 2 loan spells (firstly from Celtic and later from Barnsley) at FGR. Jack was very popular with FGR supporters, almost as popular as his Mother and the rest of his family.

Jack left Barnsley in the January transfer window joining Motherwell permanently but only until the end of the season.

Goalkeeper Bradley Collins in season 2017-18 he played 39 times on loan at FGR from Chelsea helping FGR avoid relegation in their first season in L2. He was Barnsley’s player of the season 21/22.

‘Feed the Beast and he will score’ – Jon Parkin began his career at Barnsley and played for FGR 2014-16 making 84 appearances and scoring 38 goals. In his autobiography he wrote ‘The Forest Green Rovers fans were great, but they are a strange bunch – and I don’t mean that in a bad way.’

Wales International Kieffer Moore (FGR 2016-17, 33 appearances, 7 goals) later played for Barnsley, now at Bournemouth in the Premier League.

Club History

Barnsley FC founder, The Reverend Tiverton Preedy (left) could be very persuasive.

Barnsley were founded in 1887 by Rev Tiverton Preedy and moved into Oakwell stadium the following year. The club’s colours were originally blue but were changed to red and white in 1904.

Barnsley spent the 1890s in local leagues, before gaining admittance to the Football League Second Division in 1898. They twice reached the final of the FA Cup whilst still in the second tier, losing to Newcastle in 1910 and winning the competition with victory over WBA in 1912. The club suffered relegation in 1932 but secured promotion as Third Division North champions in 1933–34. They won the Third Division North title for a second time in 1938–39, having been relegated the previous season. Relegated again in 1953, they secured another Third Division North title in 1954–55. However, further relegations left them in the fourth tier of English football by 1966. Promotion from the Fourth Division was achieved in 1967–68, though they were relegated after just four seasons. The club secured two promotions in three years under the stewardship of Allan Clarke and then Norman Hunter, and from 1981 would spend sixteen consecutive years in the second tier.

Premier League Football was secured for the 1997–98 season with a second-place finish in the First Division, though they relegated after one season and dropped down to the third tier in 2002. Barnsley won the 2006 League One Play-off Final and remained in the Championship for eight seasons. Relegated in 2014, they won both the 2016 Football League Trophy and the 2016 L1 Play-off Final, though this time spent just two seasons in the Championship. In 2017, a majority stake in the club was sold to a consortium that included Chien Lee, Neerav Parekh and Billy Beane. Barnsley won promotion out of League One with a second-place finish in 2018–19, before being relegated out of the Championship again in 2022. Barnsley have spent more seasons and played more games at the second level of English football than any other team.

Meet the Mascot

The Barnsley mascot is a dog called Toby Tyke, who stars in his own cartoon.

Barnsley Facts

Barnsley is a former mining town in South Yorkshire that’s proud of its industrial past. It’s famous for its markets, brass bands, and coal mining heritage.

Well known supporters past & present –

Michael Parkinson – Broadcaster.
Dickie Bird – cricket umpire (There is a statue to him in the town).
Darren Gough – cricketer
Shaun Dooley – actor
Daniel Kitson – actor (Phoenix Nights)
Ian Kelsey – actor (Emmerdale)

Brian Glover – actor

In 2002, the council made plans to convert Barnsley into a “Tuscan hill town”. This would have made it similar to towns in northern Italy. If completed, there would be a surrounding wall and lights beaming out from the town hall.

It is an interesting story and not as crazy as it might sound, although the architect Will Alsop’s vision was never fully realised there are vestiges of the concept in Barnsley.

Will Alsop did design many interesting buildings.

Link to an article on the whole story – The twenty-year old plan to turn Barnsley into a Italian hill village that was never to be – YorkshireLive (

Photos of some of Alsop’s buildings which did get built, in UK and abroad, are on his Wikipedia page Will Alsop – Wikipedia.

Sadly, Will Alsop – ‘A man unfamiliar with gyms’ – died in 2018.

Barnsley in Films, TV & Books.  It’s arguably most famous for the book ‘A Kestrel for a Knave’ written by Barry Hines and its big screen adaptation, ‘Kes’ directed by Ken Loach. It tells the story of a young boy from Barnsley called Billy, who takes up falconry in order to escape his inevitable path of working down the local coal mine.

When the 1969 film “Kes” was released on video it had to be dubbed into standard English for the US audience. Because of the strength of the regional Barnsley accent and dialect spoken by the characters in the film, Americans found it difficult to understand.

Barnsley featured in a ‘Monty Python’ sketch in which the son of a family of actors was disowned by his parents after running away to Barnsley to become a coal miner.

Another popular film based in Barnsley is ‘Brassed Off’ directed by Mark Herman in 1996. The film focuses on the story of the Grimethorpe Colliery band, formed in 1917, and their struggles to cope with the closure of their pit in the early 1990s.

Barnsley is home to the first ever bottle bank, which was first used in 1977. There are now around 50,000 across the country.

Barnsley Clock – Overlooking the Mandela Gardens is the controversial £32,500 Barnsley Clock, which sits on the side of The Civic building. No longer working, the clock comprised red lights. A long line was the minutes, a shorter line was the hour, and the dot was the second. People didn’t realise it was a clock and when they did, they still couldn’t tell the time.

Sinking Feeling – There were 11 colliery pits in the Barnsley area, these are now all closed. The town used to be 200ft above sea level but due to subsidence in the hundreds of mines that are underneath the surface, surveyors recently found that the town was dropping by around 11ft a year and it’s estimated that by 2050 Barnsley will be a lake. Barnsley Council’s official position is that this may reduce the need for hose pipe bans, and they intend to build a water sports centre to bring much needed jobs to the town. Slogans such as ‘Barnsley – Barbados of the North‘ have been mooted.