OLYMPICS: Captain Barry praises local support

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DONCASTER-born Great Britain men’s hockey captain Barry Middleton says he appreciates the support from across South Yorkshire for himself and Sheffield’s Alastair Wilson.

Middleton, aged 28, will lead his team into action on Monday against Argentina as the squad looks to emulate the gold medal success of the 1988 team. And as he approaches 100 caps for his country, Middleton, who lived in Skellow and Bessecarr, said both he and Wilson are enjoying putting hockey in the north on the map.

He said: “I’m very proud of my Yorkshire roots and the support I’m getting from home is great - and I’m sure it is the same with him. There are guys from the Sheffield and Rotherham areas who are supporting us and of course from Doncaster.

“It’s nice to have that Yorkshire base behind us.

“It’s was a southern dominated sport when I was young but it’s getting better now. South Yorkshire is a very strong part of the northern.

“Sheffield, Doncaster and Rotherham always had very good rivalries.

“The Yorkshire Cup was always competitive and a big thing to win.

“There was all those rivalries and it’s nice that all those same guys are supporting me.”