REVIEW OF 2016: The people and stories who hit the headlines in Doncaster in 2016

Jeremy Corbyn, Doncaster Clown, Frances Bishop and Val Stones were among those who made the headlines in Doncaster in 2016.
Jeremy Corbyn, Doncaster Clown, Frances Bishop and Val Stones were among those who made the headlines in Doncaster in 2016.
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Brexit, Donald Trump and a string of celebrity deaths dominated the national headlines in 2016, but who were the people and events that made news in Doncaster?

Here's out look back on some of the key talking points and stories of the last 12 months

Take That star Gary Barlow rocked the Vulcan.

Take That star Gary Barlow rocked the Vulcan.


2016 began with the shocking news of the death of global music icon David Bowie after a private cancer battle - and revived memories of his father being born in Doncaster and also his legendary Ziggy Stardust shows at the town’s Top Rank Suite in the early 1970s.

There was good news for Doncaster pop star Louis Tomlinson who welcomed his son Freddie into the world, while televison stars Jo Brand and Jeff Stelling both dropped into Doncaster during marathon charity walks taking in the length and breadth of the country.

Doncaster war hero Ben Parkinson revealed how one of his prosthetic legs had fallen off while on a visit to Downing Street, comedy legend Sir David Jason confirmed a third series of Still Open All Hours while Olympic swimming star Rebecca Adlington paid a visit to open a new giant otter enclosure at Yorkshire Wildlife Park, which also welcomed a new polar bear Nobby and revealed plans to bring black rhinos to town.

Colin "Fingers" Henry appeared on Britain's Got Talent.

Colin "Fingers" Henry appeared on Britain's Got Talent.

A £300,000 overhaul of the Mansion House was completed and the Doncaster built legendary locomotive the Flying Scotsman returned to the rails after undergoing a £4.2 million refurbishment.

There was sadness at the death of former Doncaster Rovers photographer Steve Uttley, actor Paddy Considine was filming scenes for a new movie in the Frenchgate Centre and plans were unveiled for Go Bounce, a new trampoline park in Doncaster.

The FARRRS link road, now known as Great Yorkshire Way, finally opened, connecting the M18 with Robin Hood Airport where Flybe flights to Paris took off for the first time.
There were concerns over a bin collection backlog whille a new Netto store in Edlington created 20 jobs.


Still Open All Hours returned to Doncaster.

Still Open All Hours returned to Doncaster.

The second quarter of the year saw Doncaster resoundingly vote to leave the European Union - with 69% voting for Brexit in the June referendum, despite a visit from Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to town calling for a Remain vote.

There was sporting success as thousands of people flocked here for the second stage of the Tour de Yorkshire cycling extravaganza but elsewhere there was misery after a disastrous string of results saw Doncaster Rovers relegated to League Two.

A controlled explosion to blow up the iconic Harworth pit tower proved to be a damp squib when the structure failed to topple, the town’s upside down pianist Colin “Fingers” Henry made a return to the limelight with an appearance on Britain’s Got Talent while Dearne born actor Brian Blessed was awarded the OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

There were tributes after promising young teenage footballer Ethan Hedley was killed in a road crash and there was also sadness after the death of James Vaughan, a club DJ, better known to clubbers as DJ Vorny.

Comedienne Jo Brand visited Doncaster on her marathon charity walk.

Comedienne Jo Brand visited Doncaster on her marathon charity walk.

Will Young and Sir Tom Jones rocked Doncaster Racecourse, town crier Henry Cryer stepped down and Doncaster born footballer Danny Rose put the town on the map at Euro 2016 - although England came home in embarrassment after a humiliating defeat to Iceland.

A spate of Doncaster Clown sightings saw a man in court charged with harrassment, town centre store Clas Ohlsson announced its closure while local actress Sheridan Smith pulled out of a West End show due to stress.

A massive sonic boom rocked Yorkshire, paedophile footballer Adam Johnson was moved to HMP Moorland and Doncaster tourism manager Colin Joy died at 52.


The main talking points of the summer were HS2, Pokemon Go and Doncaster Great British Bake Off star Val Stones.

It was revealed that a housing estate in Mexborough would have to be demolished as plans for the controversial HS2 rail route were altered while a group of players hooked on the mobile phone gaming craze helped avert a burglary in Wheatley when they became suspicious of a gang and called 999.

The Flying Scotsman returned to its Doncaster home.

The Flying Scotsman returned to its Doncaster home.

Former Conisbrough teacher Val Stones divided the nation with her eccentric behaviour on the hit BBC show while in the same village, 850-year-old, never seen before “graffiti” was unveiled at Conisbrough Castle.

Mining boss Sir Richard Budge, dubbed King Coal, died at the age of 69 and there was more sadness as athlete Michael Wakefield collapsed and died during the weekly Park Run event at Sandall Park.

Doncaster man Chris King became the world’s first double hand transplant patient while football referee Chris Crowe was hailed a life saver after he leapt into action to rescue young footballer Dan Fagg who collapsed in the middle of a junior football game.

Doncaster girl Laurie Jay Balfour was seriously injured when a 15-stone gas canister crashed onto her at a nightclub in Zante and homeless man Carl Notely was also hospitalised after being attacked in a town centre shop doorway.

Soul stars Simply Red rocked Doncaster Racecourse, where 22-1 outsider Harbour Law was a winner in the St Leger while a contaminated water supply left residents in Thorne up in arms.

Teenager Bradley Gannon was saved by heroic Tom Laybourne, 16, after falling into a canal, a mass brawl and a string of anti-social behaviour incidents rocked the streets of Hexthorpe while the cameras returned to Balby to film Still Open All Hours.


Take That star Gary Barlow proved he was a real high-flier with a one-off charity concert in the shadow of Doncaster’s Vulcan bomber at Robin Hood Aiport.

Elsewhere, Doncaster children’s clothing shop owner Frances Bishop began her quest to win TV’s The Apprentice and become Lord Sugar’s new sidekick while hearing the words “you’re fired” was Doncaster Central MP Rosie Winterton who was sacked as Chief Whip by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Black rhinos arrived at Yorkshire Wildlife Park for the first time - and plans for a Hilton Hotel at Doncaster Racecourse were given the green light - although a plan for a cinema in the Frenchgate Centre was ditched.

Dramatic plans to reshape the face of Doncaster town centre were unveiled with a proposal to transform the area in front of the railway station while another part of the town centre was the focus for a homeless protest as a community known as Doncaster Tent City sprung up on the site of the old Civic Theatre.

It was revealed that Doncaster CVS, a focal point for Doncaster’s voluntary sector would close unless £150,000 was found by March while it was also announced that Doncaster had hit a 15 year housebuilding high with £560 million worth of homes planned for the town over the next ten years.

Young mum Stacey Parkes was finally reunited with a group of men who saved her life in a car crash thirty years earlier while the Coca-Cola truck attracted thousands of visitors to the Market Place.

Dozens of hopefuls tried their luck as auditions for Britain’s Got Talent came to town while Doncaster pop star Louis Tomlinson was grieving after the loss of his mum Johannah Deakin who died after a leukaemia battle.

Harbour Law won the St Leger.

Harbour Law won the St Leger.

The Tour de Yorkshire brought thousands of cycling fans to Doncaster.

The Tour de Yorkshire brought thousands of cycling fans to Doncaster.