Giant onion grower was banned from showing his prize-winning produce

In the highly-competitive world of amateur horticulture green-fingered Barry Micklethwaite really knows his onions and has a full trophy cabinet to prove it.

But the veteran gardener was left in a stew after he was banned from top shows because his rivals are fed up by him winning all the time.

Former steelworks manager Mr Micklethwaite, 66, is well known for his giant onions, monster parsnips and huge beetroot.

After 30 years of being South Yorkshire's undisputed King of the Veg , the pensioner, from Barnsley , was told he is no longer welcome at local shows.

Now Mr Micklethwaite has vowed to take his fight to the courts after being blacklisted by the South Yorkshire District of the National Vegetable Society.

At his home in Birdwell, Barnsley he said : 'I was looking forward to the next show in Sheffield so I phoned up for a schedule so I could decide which categories to go in for.

'But the association secretary said told me I couldn't have one. When I asked why he said: 'Because we won't want you showing... and if you turn up you won't be allowed in.

'I was gobsmacked but when I asked for a reason he just said that according to the society rules the committee could ban who they wanted without giving a reason and that's what they were doing.

'But I know the reason it's because I'm too successful. I win too much so it's all sour grapes, they're just looking for a way to keep me out.

'They don't want me there because I might be a bit too good.

'If they had been honest and said they wanted me to step down and give somebody else a chance I would have done that but they just refused to give a reason so I am determined to fight the decision.'

Read more at , 26 August 2009



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