Ackworth Old Scholar James Willstrop wins GOLD in the Commonwealth Games for Men’s Doubles Squash alongside fellow teammate Declan James.
Born 1983 in Yorkshire, James was with Ackworth School from 1995 until 2002. James was recognised as a squash sensation at an early age. In 2002, he claimed his third consecutive British Junior Under-19 National Championship title, to establish himself as England’s most successful under-14, under-17, and under-19), and British Junior Open trophies at under-17 and under-19. In the same year, he established himself as the world’s top junior player, claiming both the European and the World junior titles.
James has gone on to be one of the youngest players ever to play for the senior England team, representing his county for the first time at both the European and World Team Squash Championships in 2003.
In 2005, having finished as a runner-up in the British Open and then winning the Qatar Classic trophy, James was ranks as the world No.2 in the PSA world rankings.
In the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, James won a Silver Medal in the Mixed Doubles. He won the British National Squash Championships title in 2007 and 2008, and in January 2010, he won his first Tournament of Champions title in New York.
In 2011, Willstrop put himself into first place in the PSA World Series rankings by winning 15 matches in a row heading towards winning the Hong Kong Open, the Kuwait Open, and The Punj Lloyd PSA Masters. James ranked as the World No. 1 in January 2012.
At the 2018 Commonwealth Games, James won the Gold Medal in the Men’s Singles and in 2020, won the British National title.
Well done from us, James. Ackworth School continues to enjoy watching your career in Squash. We know you’ll be celebrating winning your well-deserved GOLD in the Men’s Doubles Squash!