Snooker loses one of its best-known players in gentleman Des

Des BarnettSnooker lost one of its best-known and most respected characters with the passing away of Des Barnett at the age of 87.
Des was ahead of his time in terms of defensive play and tied people in knots with his ability to judge the pace of the table and angles – but off the table he was the nicest of opponents and treated rivals with the utmost respect.
Des won his first snooker tournament in Germany, whilst on national service at 18 years of age and then won the Pembrokeshire snooker singles’ title for the first time at the age of 24.
Overall, Des won the Pembrokeshire singles title a record-breaking 11 times and the Pembrokeshire doubles title eight times, four of them with his brother Frank and four with his other brother Billy.
Des was the only man to win the Pembrokeshire title three years in a row in 1983, 1984 and 1985 so when  in 2007 the then-Pembrokeshire Snooker League (the Ansell Cup) was going to be replaced by the Carlsberg Cup,  the snooker league decided to present Des with a special “Ansell” trophy because in their words;-

 “If anyone deserves to keep the trophy it is the local snooker legend that is Des Barnett.”
It is also worth recording the fact that after finishing playing snooker Des ended up playing pool until he was 79 years of age and won a few trophies to go alongside his 250+ snooker trophies.
Finally, Des was more pleased with the fact that he helped mentor and coach many a young person during his playing days – this was clearly evident on the day of his funeral - as a large contingent of young men, as well as his old pals, turned up to say their final farewells to him.
On a personal note, I was delighted to feature Des in an article about his playing prowess and he was a pleasure to talk to – and I am very proud to be able to say that I was a friend of Des Barnett.
Our thoughts go out at this sad time to his wife Dot, daughter Wendy and sons Michael and Steve, plus their families, at the loss of such a nice gentleman of local sport.