TRIBUTE has been paid to "gregarious, generous and big hearted" Barry Kerslake from Bournemouth, who raised thousands of pounds for charity.

The former member of AFC Bournemouth's Vice President Club and former entertainment secretary of the Bournemouth Echo of 20 years, passed away suddenly on February 23rd.

Bournemouth Echo:

And lifelong supporter of AFC Bournemouth, Barry became a member of the Vice Presidents Club of AFC Bournemouth, a social club which supported the team.

His beloved wife, Muriel said his passing has left a “big gap” in the lives of his family, former colleagues and hundreds of friends.

Born on May 20th, 1933, Barry was born in Boscombe Hospital and raised in Springbourne, attending two local schools before joining the RAF in September 1951, where he served overseas.

On his return, Barry became a lifelong member of Bournemouth East Conservative Club. In later years, he was elected President and eventually Life President.

Bournemouth Echo:

Muriel said: “Barry put a lot of care and effort into his time at the club and after a break for a few years he was asked to return as chairman during the early 2000’s when the club was struggling.”

For 20 years Barry worked at the Echo Bournemouth as Entertainment Secretary at the Echo Social Club, organising dinner dances and securing performances from top acts.

Bournemouth Echo:

Muriel said: “Barry went on to own a property and lettings management business. As well as this, Barry was a publican, restaurateur and a racehorse and snooker club owner."

And throughout his life, Barry raised vital funds for charity.

In 1983, Barry served on former mayor the late Jeanne Curtis’ fundraising committee organising the raffle for the Mayor’s Ball and welcoming special guest George Best.

Bournemouth Echo:

Muriel said: “Barry was a well known figure around Bournemouth from the early 1970s to the 1990s for all of his social activities.”

Barry was an extrovert and enjoyed a large social life, however the little spare time he had, he enjoyed eating out, trips to the theatre, travelling with Muriel to their apartment in mainland Spain and tending his vegetables in the garden.

Barry and Muriel were married for 60 years and lived in Queens Park. The couple had three children, Gary, Jacqui and Joff and six grandchildren, sadly losing their oldest grandchild Jonathon aged at just 19, in March 2013.

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