In this month’s sports column, Margaret Brecknell takes a look back at some of the sporting highlights from October in the North including notable performances from two sports stars who have been featured here in previous months. There’s also the usual preview of what to look forward to in the coming weeks.


Rugby League

In the end of season knock-out tournament, Super League winners St Helens failed to make the Grand Final at Old Trafford, losing out to Warrington Wolves by 18-13 at the semi-final stage. Warrington went on to play Wigan Warrriors in the final but were unable to prevent a determined Wigan side claiming their fifth Grand Final triumph with a 12-4 victory. This marked a fitting climax to Shaun Wane’s seven-year reign as Wigan’s Head Coach. 


The GB team won an impressive five medals at the recent World Taekwondo Grand Prix held in Manchester including golds for Jade Jones and Lauren Williams.


It has been quite a year for 23-year-old Kyle Edmund from Beverley in East Yorkshire. Having reached his first Grand Slam semi final at the Australian Open in January, he has since replaced Andy Murray as British No 1 and climbed into the world’s top 20 for the first time. Now he has won his first ATP Tour title at the European Open in Antwerp, defeating Frenchman Gaels Monfils in a closely fought final.


Cheshire’s Laura Kenny recently competed in her first UCI Track World Cup event since January 2016. At the event held in Milton, Canada, she made a successful return by winning individual gold in the women’s omnium, in addition to a team pursuit gold. Four-time Olympic champion Kenny only returned to competitive cycling in March after time off from the sport following the birth of her first child in August 2017.

Manchester United Women

The newly relaunched Manchester United Women go from strength to strength in their debut season in the Women’s Championship. To date, the United side are yet to lose a game and look favourites to be promoted at the end of the season. Such is United’s supremacy that the wisdom of the decision to allow a professional side into what is otherwise a semi-professional league has been questioned in some quarters.


Wayne Rooney

It has just been announced that former Manchester United and Everton striker, Wayne Rooney, will come out of international retirement to make a farewell appearance in England’s upcoming friendly against the United States at Wembley on November 15. It is sure to be an emotional evening for England’s all-time record goalscorer who will win his 120th and final cap. The game will raise money for the Wayne Rooney Foundation which focuses on improving the lives of disadvantaged children.


The England Roses will play their first match on home soil since their dramatic victory over Australia in the Commonwealth Games Final when they take on Uganda at Liverpool’s Echo Arena on November 27.  As we mentioned in our August monthly review, the same venue will host next year’s Netball World Cup.


The 2018 UK Snooker Championship will take place at York’s Barbican Centre from November 27 to December 9. Second only to the World Championships in terms of importance, this year’s tournament will see the legendary Ronnie O’Sullivan attempting to defend successfully the title he won for the sixth time last year. O’Sullivan recently made a maximum 147 break in the second round of the 2018 English Open, before being comprehensively beaten by surprise package Mark Davis in the semi-final.

By Margaret Brecknell