Family of Crystal Palace legend Les Barnes pays tribute to adoring grandfather

Les Barnes loved playing with his grandchildren - photo from the family

Les Barnes loved playing with his grandchildren - photo from the family

First published in Sport News Shopper: Photograph of the Author by , reporter

The family of Crystal Palace’s legendary chief steward who died last week has paid tribute.

Les Barnes, 60, from Bromley, passed away on Friday July 4 after battling cancer.

Mr Barnes had gained widespread adoration at the football club, where he had worked for over 40 years, and sparked praise on Twitter from friends, colleagues, and countless Palace fans.

His partner Joyce, 59, said the family has been “overwhelmed by the kind messages of condolence from people”.

She added: “Les was such a proud family man, and he adored his four young grandsons, the youngest being born just a couple of months ago. Even when the cancer was causing him pain and discomfort, he still managed to find the energy to play games with them.

“His death has left a huge void in our family, but some comfort is being gained from knowing he was such a popular man and liked by so many".

After starting out on the turnstiles at Selhurst Park he quickly rose through the ranks to become chief steward.

The Eagles fan also worked part-time for Renault as a chauffeur, which he did for more than 20 years, and had played a part at events such as The London Marathon and the London Film Festival.

Mr Barnes was born in Bromley in 1954, grew up in Bickley, and lived in Sidcup at the time of his death.

He was rushed into St Thomas’ Hospital on Tuesday July 1 after having difficulty breathing.

His family said staff battled for days to try to stabilise his breathing and heart rate. His brother John was there at the time of his death.

He is survived by his partner Joyce, stepchildren Jackie, 36, and Alan, 33, and four grandchildren.

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