Sporting history comes to Wakefield

A new exhibition telling the story of how an apprentice from Horbury created one of the world's leading sports brands is to open at Wakefield Museum.

The Playmakers exhibition showcases products made at the factory in Horbury, firstly as William Sykes Ltd, and later under the Slazenger and Dunlop names. It features a football made for the 1966 World Cup finals and a tennis racquet used by Steffi Graf.

Residents are invited to attend the Playmakers celebration event on Wednesday 7 December, 5 pm to 7.30 pm. The event includes special screenings of a film which gives a fascinating insight into the inner workings of the factory, including the social aspect of the company and interviews with former staff.

The new display will be officially opened at the Playmakers Celebration event by Cllr Jacquie Speight, Deputy Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport at 5 pm.

Cllr Les Shaw, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport, said: "We are delighted to welcome this fascinating exhibition to Wakefield. The factory created a range of beautifully crafted sporting goods used in World Cups, FA Cups, Ashes tests, Challenge Cups and Wimbledon finals.

"I encourage residents to visit Wakefield Museum to discover how Horbury was at the centre of high quality, high-tech sports design for over 100 years."

The free exhibition opened at the weekend and runs until 1 July 2017 at Wakefield Museum (Wakefield One, Burton Street, Wakefield WF1 2DD).

For more information about the Playmakers exhibition, and other events taking place at Wakefield Museums and Libraries, please visit


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