Touching tributes to a ‘fantastic businessman’ and the ‘greatest all rounder that Southwold Cricket Club has ever had.’

Tributes paid to Ken Barbrook. Picture: Courtesy of the Barbrook family.

Tributes paid to Ken Barbrook. Picture: Courtesy of the Barbrook family. - Credit: Archant

A community has paid touching tributes to a successful businessman and talented sportsman.

About 300 people turned out at St Margaret's Church in Reydon last Friday for the funeral service of Ken Barbrook.

Celebrating the life of Mr Barbrook, who died peacefully at his home in Reydon on April 22, aged 83, the church was packed as friends, family and the community paid their respects.

A dearly loved husband of Anita, brother to Kathleen, dad to Lynne, Carol, David and Matthew, and cherished grandfather to 13 grandchildren and four great grandchildren, Mr Barbrook's health had suffered in recent months after he was diagnosed in January with pancreatic cancer.

Born in Oldham in March 1934, Mr Barbrook loved sport from an early age. When he was 13 the family moved to Wangford, where they bought the village store. In March 1958, Mr Barbrook married Anita and in 1960 they bought their first shop at 58 Stradbroke Road. Six years later the family moved to Reydon and bought the post office and shop.

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In a touching eulogy, Matthew Barbrook said: 'Mum and dad loved the shop and customers dearly. Although dad was a fantastic businessman, he looked at his customers as friends. He loved to help in the community, from running the local junior football and cricket teams when he was younger to helping mum out with fundraising.'

After retiring in 2000, and handing over the reins to his two sons, within six weeks he was back at work. 'Retirement suits some people, but not dad,' Matthew said. 'His endless energy and passion for the shop would never keep him away.'

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The funeral service, conducted by the Rev Alan Perry, included readings from grandchildren Joe, Rebecca, Jessica and Laura and a sporting eulogy from Trevor Clifford, of Southwold Cricket Club, who said Mr Barbrook was 'greatest all rounder that Southwold Cricket Club has ever had.'

Mr Barbrook played football locally, and excelled in cricket for Lowestoft and Southwold, eventually taking up bowls about a decade ago as he played at Sole Bay Bowls Club.

On Saturday, prior to Southwold's cricket match against Great Melton, balloons were released by family members, players and officials as they took part in a minute's silence and applause in his honour.

Community support is praised

Praising the support of the community, Matthew Barbrook said: 'So many people knew dad, and we have had so many nice words from so many different people.

'With him being such a big part of the village and the community for so long, the church was absolutely packed and it made it a very special send off. As a family we are overwhelmed by the love and support we have received.'

Similar sentiments were shared by Mr Barbrook's wife Anita. She added: 'The support we have received has been tremendous. We would like to thank everyone who came to Ken's funeral service and for making it so special.

'Thank you for all the kindness and support we have had and the beautiful cards and messages.'

Matthew added: 'We have to remember how truly lucky we have been to have had him in our lives.'

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