Tributes paid to Derek Barnard - true friend of Norfolk cricket

Tributes have been paid to Derek Barnard, who owned the Barnard Sports shop in Attleborough.

Tributes have been paid to Derek Barnard, who owned the Barnard Sports shop in Attleborough. - Credit: Archant

Tributes have been paid to a staunch supporter of cricket in Norfolk who died this week.

Derek Barnard, who owned the Barnard Sports shop in Attleborough which built up a reputation as being experts in cricket bats and cricketing equipment, had been diagnosed with secondary liver cancer. The shop closed in December after Mr Barnard, pictured, was told he had less than six months to live.

The Norfolk Cricket Board's cricket development officer, Kevin Denmark, said: 'Derek had been a friend and supporter of the Norfolk Cricket Board for many years and he sponsored a lot of youth cricket in Norfolk.

'He could not have done more for the wellbeing of youth cricket in the county and nothing was ever too much trouble. On behalf of the NCB, I send condolences to all of his friends and family.

'He will be sadly missed in the local cricket fraternity.'

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A host of clubs and individuals paid tribute to Mr Barnard on Twitter this week.

East Harling CC posted: 'RIP to our vice-president Derek 'Bishy' Barnard. Gone but never forgotten. Our loss is heaven's gain! #bishy #norfolkcricketlegend.'

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Thetford Town Cricket Club wrote: 'Sad to hear of Derek Barnard's passing, a wonderful supporter of local cricket. He will be missed.'

Dereham Cricket Club added: 'A true gent in Derek Barnard passed today, thank you from us all #noonediditbetter #rip.'

Barnard Sports was established by local man Fred Barnard in 1950 and his son Derek took over in 1986 following the death of its founder.

Speaking in December when he started a closing down sale at the shop, Mr Barnard said it was becoming increasingly difficult for independent sports shops because of competition from online retailers.

'It is really difficult in the High Street because our overheads are so great and people are using the internet. We offer a personal service and that has kept us going. I can not see how any sports shop competing with the internet is going to survive,' he said.

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