It is with great sadness that Kent FA has learned of the passing of a tremendous servant to grassroots football within the county, Les Barleycorn.
Les was the Chairman of the East Kent Youth League for a staggering 40 years.
Keith Vaughan has written this touching tribute to Les, which illustrates Les’ incredible dedication shown and impact made on the game better than we ever could.
Everybody at Kent FA’s thoughts are with Les’ family, friends and all who knew him, at this difficult time.
It is with great sadness that I have to inform you Les Barleycorn passed away earlier today after a long and brave battle with cancer.
Les was the Chairman of the East Kent Youth League for over 40 years, Chairman of the Canterbury & District League for 30 years and a delegate on the Herne Bay & Whitstable League for 40 years.
It would not be an exaggeration to say Les was Mr Football in east Kent.
Les was instrumental in the birth of the East Kent Youth League in 1974 and served as the Chairman of the league for 40 years.
The list of achievements associated with Les are nothing short of outstanding.
Chairman of the Canterbury & District League for 30 years, a league delegate on the Herne Bay & Whitstable Sunday League for 35 years and Secretary of Bekesbourne Football Club for nearly 50 years.
The list goes on; EKYFL representative, team manager, recipient of the Kent FA Long and Meritorious Award in 2014. People’s Choice Award for Outstanding Contribution to Community Football In 2017. Recipient of numerous awards from leagues in recognition of his dedicated service.
All of this was achieved by Les over 50 years’ service to football, but to us he was just a great friend of us all, who along with his beloved wife Sue would always be available to attend presentations and cup finals to present trophies to the players, something he took great pleasure in doing.
We have not only lost a true football person but also a wonderful friend.
Les leaves his two sons, Dan and Stephen, as well as two grandsons and two granddaughters who filled his life with great pride.
We send our deepest sympathies to Dan, Stephen and family for their loss.
As a mark of respect to Les, we believe it appropriate that all teams within the East Kent Youth League hold a minute’s applause for Les before all of this week’s fixtures.
Les will be missed by all who knew him. A true football person.
Rest in Peace, old friend.