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G.O.A.T #12: Jonah Barrington & Rachael Grinham

Over the last month, we have given squash fans the chance to decide the greatest players in squash history as we looked over the achievements and legacies of some of the most recognisable names ever to take to a squash court.

The votes are now in and we will be announcing the results in descending order to when we reveal the official men’s and women’s GOAT.

20th PlaceDon Butcher & Sheila Macintosh
19th PlaceRoshan Khan & Sue Cogswell
18th PlaceAzam Khan & Anna Craven-Smith
17th PlaceAbdelfattah AbouTaleb & Sue King
16th PlaceAhmed Barada & Joyce Cave
15th PlaceF.D. Amr Bey & Silvia Huntsman
14th PlaceMahmoud Karim & Nancy Cave
13th PlaceQamar Zaman & Janet Morgan

In 12th place…

Jonah Barrington
Nationality: Irish
British Open Titles: 6
British Open Finals: 6

The man who changed the face of squash, Jonah Barrington is a pioneer and visionary who brought about the birth of professionalism in the sport and his impact and legacy lives on to this day, over 45 years since he lifted his last British Open title.

Barrington was squash’s first full-time player at a time when there was no real professional tour to speak of and no television coverage, but he was a one-man driving force that dragged the sport from obscurity into mainstream consciousness.

A university drop-out, Barrington went through an epiphany in his mid-twenties and, under the tutelage of legendary coach Nasrullah Khan, began his path towards international stardom.

Barrington captured his maiden British Open title at the age of 25 in 1967 – becoming the first Brit to win it since 1938 – and won the iconic tournament five more times over the next six years, beating his great rival Geoff Hunt in two of the finals.

In 1973, Barrington set up the Professional Players’ Association – which laid the groundwork for the modern-day Professional Squash Association – and chaired the association for eight years, during which time playing numbers, sponsorship opportunities and television coverage increased significantly.

Barrington’s influence on the game is unparalleled; he invented the ‘ghosting’ training method that is widely used by today’s players and his desire to improve was unflinching.

Such was his incredible energy levels and mental fortitude, Barrington won many of his matches by outlasting his opponents and his physical approach and consistent hitting to the back helped to create huge pressure on his opponents.

Barrington remained amongst the world’s top 10 until he was 40.

Since hanging up his racket, Barrington served as President of the Squash Rackets Association for several years and has also mentored current World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy.

Rachael Grinham
Nationality: Australian
British Open Titles: 4
British Open Finals: 5
World Championship Titles: 1
World Championship Finals: 2
Months Spent at World No.1: 16

Former World Champion Rachael Grinham is one of the most recognisable names on the PSA World Tour with a lengthy career that has seen her win some of the biggest prizes that the women’s game has to offer.

With an unorthodox, unpredictable game, she showed her pedigree from a young age, winning the World Junior Championship at the age of 16, before she breached the world’s top 20 four years later.

2001 saw Grinham break into the top ten in the World Rankings and she participated in the first family final ever on the Tour, defeating sister Natalie to claim the Kuala Lumpur Open title.

Two years later, Grinham won the prestigious British Open for the first time by defeating Cassie Jackman in the final and she retained the title in 2004 while rising to the World No.1 spot.

The Australian was superb in the 2004/05 season and kept her World No.1 ranking for 16 consecutive months. She faced heartbreak though in the 2005 World Championship final as she fell to Nicol David after beating her sister in the semi-final.

2007 was Grinham’s finest year as she gained revenge on David in the final of the British Open, coming from 2-0 down and saving match balls in the fourth game to lift the event for the third time in one of her most iconic matches. Shortly afterwards, she bested her sister yet again to win the coveted World Championship for the first time.

In addition to her PSA World Tour achievements, Grinham also enjoyed success on the international circuit with two Gold Medals at the Commonwealth Games in 2006 and 2014.

Grinham secured gold with her sister Natalie in the Women’s Doubles event at the 2006 Games in Melbourne and another gold followed at the 2014 Games in Glasgow with former World No.1 David Palmer in the Mixed Doubles event.

Injury struck later on in her career as she slipped out of the world’s top five and she still continues to play on the PSA World Tour, currently ranked at World No.29.

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