It is with deep regret that we have to inform you of the recent passing away of Mr Harold Hackney, Local ex-Football League Referee, Observer and Magistrate.
Harold was born in Thorne near Doncaster in 1929 but moved to Barnsley when he was five years of age where he stayed for the rest of his life and was a well known face in the local community.
Having served in the R.A.F., his life as a referee began in 1949 when a match he went to did not have a match official.
Harold volunteered and that was the start of a career that saw him promoted to the Referees list of the Football League ten years later.
A severe Achilles tendon injury kept him out of action for a couple of years during the mid-1960s but he made his comeback at the end of the decade and he would go on to referee the F.A. Trophy Final and League Cup Semi-Final both in 1973 as well as an Anglo-Italian Cup Quarter-Final the following year.
His final Football League game before retirement came in 1977 when he took charge of Wrexham versus Mansfield Town, a game that would see the winners promoted to the Second Division - Mansfield prevailed and afterwards Harold was greeted in the dressing room by friends who had driven there especially for the game.
Following his retirement, he continued to contribute to the game by becoming a match officials assessor, giving advice to many up and coming Match Officials in the South Yorkshire area for decades to come.
Harold became President of the Association of Northern Counties East League Match Officials and would often regale to members some of the tales of his refereeing career.
Harold will be missed for many years to come by his friends both in the amateur and professional game along with his family.
Harold was Mr Local Football and Mr Barnsley