Funeral held for Parkrun stalwart

ON YOUR MARKS: Parkrun volunteer Steve Barnfield was always at the ready

Funeral held for Parkrun stalwart

5th September 2019

THE funeral took place on Monday for one of the people that has made the highly popular Royal Tunbridge Wells [RTW] Parkrun so successful.

Steve Barnfield, a committed volunteer of the Parkrun community, passed away following a long battle with cancer.

The 66-year-old runner and father of two had been involved in the event, which has seen nearly 8,000 people take part in more than 260 runs, since it started in 2014.

He had also run the London Marathon twice and was an enthusiastic bridge player and member of the English Bridge Union.

Joe Watts, who until recently volunteered as event director for the RTW Parkrun, paid tribute to his running friend and colleague.

He said: “I met Steve when he volunteered at the test event for the Royal Tunbridge Wells Parkrun, and from that day forward until his untimely passing Steve was ever-present and formed part of the core volunteer team, volunteering on a total number of 219 occasions.

“He would often impress me with his knowledge of the year-on-year event attendance growth, and he was always keen to process and analyse the results – a role that he conducted on over 100 occasions, most recently in July 2019.”

Among those paying their respects after hearing the news of Mr Barnfield’s death was the borough’s MP, Greg Clark.

He said: “Such sad news. Steve was a real champion volunteer – expert, enthusiastic and encouraging to everyone in rain and shine. He will be greatly missed by us all.”

Steve was cremated at the Kent & Sussex Crematorium and a wake was held for family and friends afterwards at The Spa Hotel.

Mr Barnfield is survived by his two children, David and Laura, and his wife Frances.

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