On Tuesday 16th April I received some news that I had been dreading for some time, John Barnsley had passed away today at his home in Ashford, Kent. John was 70 and had been suffering from cancer since the end of last year. As a schoolboy joining the Rutland and growing up during the 1970’s and 80’s to me and many others John was the ‘Master Rutler.’ He leaves his partner Jane, his two sons Matthew and Mark and grandson Oliver.
There is a tribute page to John where you can leave messages of condolences and make donations to John’s chosen charities
Below is the eulogy that Malc Pearce wrote for John’s funeral and was read out by John’s eldest son Matthew
EULOGY TO JOHN
I was only a young kid when I first met John, I went out on my first Rutland Cycling Club run to Rudyard Lakes. This was one of the hardest rides on the club run calendar. I got dropped twice so John hung back and waited for me, we spent the rest of the day riding around Derbyshire, didn’t get to Rudyard Lakes. I felt pretty bad and apologized to John that I had spoilt his day – his answer was “don’t worry, I got dropped too I was knackered!” From there on we formed a bloody great friendship. It didn’t take long to realize that John had the same effect on everyone he met; he had such a fun filled personality. He was a bit like the Pied Piper. On the Rutland Club runs we would follow him over hills, dales, Moors till we finally gathered in a pub and sat having the best laughs of my life. John’s sense of humour was the best – he would tell jokes & stories that made us laugh so much we had stomach ache. Our Thursday night bike rides in winter took us over the rough stuff tracks and we finally got together in the Rivelin Hotel – also known as Lou’s Palace. Again we would sit around telling jokes, stories and singing songs accompanied by a local on the piano. John introduced us to his repertoires, “Beer is Best” – “I’m a Rambler from Manchester Way” and his specialty, “I love My Mother in Law”. At closing time we would ride down the Rivelin Valley whilst John and some of the others went home via Manchester Road – shouting Charlie at the top of our voices till we ran out of breath. Our winter club runs centred around “rough stuff” tracks over the Moors to finish up in a pub and play darts, tell jokes and laughs. Many times John would bring out a soccer ball so we had a full blown soccer match after the pub. Our favourite rides after Sunday lunch pub closing time would take us over Cut Gate and Kinder Scout – rides not for the feint hearted especially starting out after 3.00pm and finishing in the dark. John was always there to guide us and take the mickey out of the lads that moaned!! We organized weekends away racing, training or de-training rides. John was usually a part of these rides either participating or organizing but one thing was certain – we had plenty of beers and plenty of laughs. I’ll always remember one Friday night walking home to sober up after a night out with the lads which took me straight past John’s doorstep. At the time he had an Austin Midget which was parked up his driveway, his pride and joy. It seemed like a good idea at the time to fill his car boot with house bricks from the yard where he was having an extension built. I filled it right up to the buffers. During the next few club runs John kept bleating on that his car was running like crap with no power. Imagine his surprise when he finally opened the car boot – priceless. He also had a Citroen 2CV. He used to turn up to the bike races in his beloved car and take out the front seats and sit at the side of the road cheering us on. Every year at Christmas time we had our Boxing Day pub crawl starting at the Fox House and drink a pint in each pub till we finished in Castleton, one rule was that you couldn’t ride your own bike in-between pubs, you had to ride someone else’s. We also had our Christmas Fancy Dress ride out dinner to Castleton, fancy dress was obligatory and John always came up with a great costume. One year as Fagin from Oliver Twist, then as “Postman Pat” and another as a Christmas cracker with a note – “The jokes inside, pull here”.
I could write for hours with the great times we had and usually in the lime light John was there. He was the back bone of the Rutland Cycling Club and a true Stalwart. He used to write a quarterly newsletter which was always so funny it made you cry – he signed it as “Scoop Barnsley”
Once met, never forgotten. John had such an infectious influence on the Rutland Club runs and everyone he met, always remembered.
Malc & Tracey Pearce – AKA Pearcey