Many clubs own their inception to the church and Barnsley are among them, for they were formed in 1887 by the Rev. T.T. Preedy, curate of Barnsley St Peter’s. The Reverend saw St Peters take to the field for their first match in September of that year, just eleven days after the first meeting of the club. On Saturday 17 September, 1887 Barnsley St Peters beat Manor House 4-0.
The team at that time played on a ground near to the Dove Inn on Doncaster Road where they also used to change. It was also Reverend Preedy that persuaded Arthur Senior, a local landowner, to hand over a field for his team to play their matches. Arthur supposedly allowed the boys the use of the ground with the immortal words: ‘” You can have it as long as you behave yourselves.” The pitch, a sloping field, was located behind the present Brewery Stand. The club later moved to an adjacent, more level pitch. This later became known as “Oakwell”.
In 1897 Barnsley St Peters simplified its name to Barnsley FC and also dispensed of the brown-and-white striped shirts in favour of plain red ones. Before that Barnsley St Peters played in stripes of claret and blue and blue and white. Barnsley have always stuck to their white shorts from their formation.
Barnsley’s first emblem was the shield taken from the town’s coat of arms, granted on 19 October 1869. What we see is a falcon with a padlock and two boar’s heads with crosses. They belong to the arms of the local families of Locke and Beckett. The items in the chief stand for Monk Bretton Priory, a Cluniac foundation dating from 1157; the arms of the Priory were two silver cups and a cross on black. The shuttles and pickaxes represent local industries.
One of Barnsley’s other previous badges represents a white rose on a red shield, the rose being the symbol of the House of York. In the Sixties plain BFC adorned the red shirts who gained Barnsley promotion during their 1967-68 campaign for the first time since 1954-55.
The pre-present insignia features a bulldog. In earlier days, a bulldog was actually brought on to the pitch on matchdays. This ceremony became the inspiration of the new emblem, featuring Toby Tyke, a tyke being anyone from Yorkshire.
It used to be said of Barnsley that whenever they wanted a new player they went to a coal pit in the South Yorkshire district and shouted down to the shaft. It was perhaps on this account that they also came to be called the ‘Colliers’.