Famous people from Barnsley

By | October 30, 2015

Barnsley Born and Bred

To many people Barnsley is just a dark and dreary northern town that has seen better days.  Once one of the main coal producing areas of the UK, Barnsley is now a busy commuter town that produces more traffic than coal.  Set on the Eastern side of the Pennine hills and between the cities of Leeds and Sheffield, Barnsley has also produced more than its fair share of celebrities.

Did you know, for instance, that the World famous Arctic Monkeys studied at Barnsley College?  As did the 1990s band The Darkness.  The heavy metal band Saxon started their rock carrier playing in the local pubs before hitting the big time and becoming one of the most famous bands in the world.

Barnsley also has an array of other notable people ranging from sporting legends to TV personalities.  The list below contains many famous names of people from Barnsley and due to many of them still living in the area then you have a good chance of bumping in to them as they do their weekly shopping in the town centre.

Richard Allen, internationally renown cognitive scientist, specializing in working memory

John Arden (1930–2012), playwright

Maggie Atkinson, the Children’s Commissioner for England [1]

Josh Bates (1996–), professional speedway rider

Mark Beevers (1989–), footballer, Sheffield Wednesday F.C.

Dickie Bird (1933–), international cricket umpire

Dai Bradley, actor, Billy Casper in Ken Loach’s film Kes

Joseph Bramah (1748–1814), inventor of flushing water closet, Bramah lock and the beer pump

Inga Brooksby (1988–), actress, starred in series Down to Earth

Pete Brown (1968–), beer writer and columnist

Stan Burton (1912–1977), former Wolverhampton Wanderers player, played in 1939 FA Cup Final

Ed Clancy (1985–present), professional cyclist

Wilf Copping (1909–1980), footballer, played for England 20 times

Mark Crossley (1969–present), former Nottingham Forest, Fulham and Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper, currently playing for Chesterfield in League Two

Nick Crowe (1968–present), artist

Shaun Dooley, actor

Kenny Doughty, actor

John Duttine (1949–present), actor

Leonard Knight Elmhirst (1893–1974), philanthropist

Air Marshal Sir Thomas Elmhirst (1895–1982), Commander-in-Chief Royal Indian Air Force, Lieutenant-Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Guernsey

Joann Fletcher, Egyptologist

Toby Foster, Radio Sheffield presenter, comedian and actor

Brian Glover (1934–1997), actor

Darren Gough (1970–present), cricketer

Brian Greenhoff (1953–2013), footballer, Manchester United and Leeds United

Jimmy Greenhoff (1946–present), footballer, Manchester United and Leeds United

Steve Haigh (1949–present), Barnsley’s first DJ as ‘handsome’ Steve Hanson, Teen and Twenty Club, Barnsley Civic; BBC Radio and TV Journalist Radio Leeds, Radio Sheffield, Radio Newcastle, Look North (Newcastle), Radio Scotland, Radio Bristol/Somerset Sound, Points West (Bristol), Spotlight (Plymouth)

Joanne Harris (1964–present), novelist, Chocolat

David Hirst (1967–present), England international footballer, played for Barnsley before joining Sheffield Wednesday

Stephanie Hirst (1976–present), radio presenter, former host of hit40uk on commercial radio throughout the UK

Geoff Horsfield (1973–present), professional footballer turned coach

Geoffrey Howse (1955–present), actor, local historian and author; student at Barnsley School of Art 1973–75

Dorothy Hyman (1941–present), sprinter

Graham Ibbeson, sculptor, artist, responsible for statue outside NUM Head Offices, Barnsley, and Eric Morecambe statue in Morecambe

Ashley Jackson Artist

Admiral of the Fleet, Sir Henry Bradwardine Jackson, GCB, FRS, 1855–1929, first Sea Lord, May 1915 to December 1916; pioneer of ship to ship wireless technology; born in Barnsley, the son of Henry Jackson, a leading linen manufacturer in the town

Mark Jones (1933–1958), one of the eight Manchester United players killed in the Munich air disaster

Katherine Kelly (1980–present), actress, played Becky Granger in ITV soap opera Coronation Street

Ethel Lang (1900–2015), supercentenarian

Davey Lawrence (1985–present), ice hockey netminder playing for the Sheffield Steelers

Joseph Locke (1805–1860), civil engineer

Stephen Lodge (1952–present), former Premier League referee; retired from top-flight officiating at the end of the 2000–01 season

Baron Mason of Barnsley (1924–present), former Northern Ireland Secretary

Thomas Masters (1899), founder of Thomas Masters Removals – Storage

John Mayock (1970–present), former 1500m runner, member of Team GB

Mick McCarthy (1959–present), former professional footballer and manager of the football club Ipswich Town F.C.; former manager of the Republic of Ireland national football team

Paul McCue (1958–present), author and military historian

Ian McMillan (1956–present), the Bard of Barnsley

CJ de Mooi, panellist on quiz show Eggheads

Chris Morgan, ex-professional football player; formerly played for the town’s football club; now a coach at Sheffield United

Martyn Moxon (1960–present), cricketer who played for Yorkshire and played in 10 test matches for England

Jenni Murray (1950–present), journalist and broadcaster, current presenter of Woman’s Hour on BBC Radio 4

Sam Nixon (1986–present), came 3rd on Pop Idol 2003; former catering student and ex-Holgate School pupil; had a UK No. 1 hit with Mark Rhodes, covering The Beatles’ “With a Little Help from My Friends”; co-host of Saturday morning BBC2 programme TMi with Mark Rhodes and Caroline Flack

Richard O’Dwyer, university student, creator of TV Shack; currently in the process of being extradited to the US on charges of conspiracy to commit copyright infringement and criminal infringement of copyright

Jon Parkin (1981–present), professional footballer, playing for Preston North End in the Championship; nicknamed ‘The Beast’

Michael Parkinson (1935–present), talk show host, journalist and television presenter

Paul Quinn (1976-present), member of the band Saxon

Stan Richards (1930–2005), actor

Kate Rusby (1973–present) Folk singer

Arthur Scargill, leader of the National Union of Mineworkers, 1981-2000; founded the Socialist Labour Party in 1996, currently the party’s leader

Harry Leslie Smith (born 1923), author of Harry’s Last Stand (2014) and autobiographical works

John Stones England Defender

James Hudson Taylor (1832–1905), Protestant Christian missionary to China; founder of the China Inland Mission (now OMF International)

Tommy Taylor (1932–1958), professional footballer, one of the ‘Busby Babes’ (or Manchester United under the management of Matt Busby) who was killed in the Munich air disaster

Obadiah Walker (1616–1699), academic and Master of University College, Oxford from 1676 to 1688

Charlie Williams (1928–2006), ex-professional footballer and stand-up comedian

Harry Worth (1917–1989), actor, comedian and ventriloquist


You may be wondering why Geoff Boycott is not listed.  The reason for this is that he originates from Wakefield and lived in Woolley, a small village just outside the Barnsley boundary.  Interestingly Boycott used to play for Barnsley Cricket Club, alongside Dickie Bird and Michael Parkinson.


If you can think of anyone who has been left off the list then please let us know by either using the reply box below or by emailing jan@barnsleymobilefootcare.co.uk

List of famous people from Barnsley compiled through the use of Creative Commons and available from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_from_Barnsley



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