Following the devastating news of our Vice President, Anthony Barnes, passing away in terrible circumstances, a tribute page has been created.

Ant was the heartbeat of our fantastic society….his energetic, enthusiastic and charismatic personality rubbed off on all of us, and he leaves a huge hole that can never be filled. He was a brilliant golfer who cared for and loved CBGS, forging countless friendships with fellow members.

Setting up this page enables members to reflect and post their own tributes. There will be so many people keen to add their thoughts and memories of how Ant touched their lives. In time, hopefully, his wife, family and huge circle of friends will find comfort in these tributes during the difficult times ahead.

Ant gave so much to the Society and it is only right we take the time to celebrate his life.

Our thoughts are with Ant’s family at this unimaginably difficult time.

28 Comments

  1. Chris Carey

    Ant lived life to the full and had a tremendous sense of fun and mischief always accompanied by that big smile. As everyone knows, he loved golf and competing and brought so much energy and enthusiasm to the society. I remember my first encounter was as a guest at a CBGS event in Hunstanton when the rain came down in biblical proportions and we all returned to the clubhouse completely wet through. Ant was Captain that year and took great pleasure (with a twinkle in his eye) in fining my member host for having a damp scorecard ! Of course, all fines went to the charity of the year and Ant was immensely proud of the tens of thousands of pounds raised for good causes each year.
    I was a little reluctant to take on the Captaincy of the society this year but Ant was incredibly persuasive and impossible to refuse. He has been a great source of support and encouragement and it is difficult to believe he will no longer be there. I am proud to have known him and my life is much the richer for having done so.
    Ant was a great supporter of Magpas Air Ambulance which, by pure coincidence, is my chosen charity for the CBGS this year. We will do our very best to honour his legacy.

    My heart goes out to his family and close friends.

  2. Jo Farnell

    I’m a very new member, but recollect Ant so well, his friendliness, humour, generosity and general altruism. My thoughts are with his family. Best wishes, Jo x

  3. Peter Glynn

    There are really no words to express the sadness and shock I feel right now. I simply cannot believe that Ant isn’t with us anymore. He was just the biggest character, always supportive and competitive; in life, business and of course golf but always with a smile. He is a loss to the world. My thoughts of course are with his family and friends (I have no idea how you are all coping) but also to anyone who knew Ant. He would for sure have had a positive impact on your life.

  4. Steve Rhodes

    Ant was one of life’s great characters. Nobody who met him would ever forget him for all the right reasons. He was funny, free spirited, mischievous, generous, competitive and did everything with a smile.

    I hope that comfort can be taken in time from the fact that Ant achieved and gave so much and lived life to the full at all times.

    As was said in the introduction, the hole Ant leaves in the society is enormous and I am sure he leaves an even bigger hole in the hearts of his family and close friends and my thoughts are with all of them.

  5. Gary Miller

    I didn’t know Ant that well compared to some others. There was of course the golf but also families with horses and weimeraners.

    However, whenever I spoke to him, he made me feel as though there was no one else he would rather be speaking to at the time. That fabulous knack he had with everyone which made him so special.

    He was always making jokes, loved being the centre of attention and equally delighted to be the butt of them.

    I have drafted and deleted several “last lines” but cannot do better than repeat those of Steve’s above “the hole Ant leaves in the society is enormous and I am sure he leaves an even bigger hole in the hearts of his family and close friends and my thoughts are with all of them”.

  6. From what I saw of Ant, he was always the ‘life and soul’ of the CBGS, and I although I didn’t know him that well, whenever we had a chat he showed warmth and enthusiasm. Sadly missed, and I look forward to celebrating his life at Luffenham Heath on 6 April. My thoughts go to his wife and two children. Pat

  7. Geoff Davies

    Ant was captain of the society when I joined. He was a brilliant captain, made all new members and guests welcome, a role he continued as our vice-president. His pride and love for the society shone through.
    He had so many qualities, but I shall always remember his sense of fun, his ability to find humour whatever the situation. I enjoyed his competitive edge on the golf course and can recollect so many enjoyable rounds together.
    As a Trustee of Magpas Air Ambulance, I know how much respect their team had for Ant and the unbelievable support he gave to the charity.
    He touched so many lives in a positive way.
    My thoughts and sympathy go to his family and friends.

  8. Dan Webster

    I only met Ant twice, but what an impression he left on me. A genuinely lovely man, a funny, effervescent, mickey-taker with a massive smile and sense of humour to go with it.

    We played together at Little Aston – me, Ant, Karl and Tristan – and even though it was a fun, friendly charity competition, you could see that Ant wanted it, he was an absolute competitor and a hell of a golfer to go with it.

    Then, a couple of months later, I turned up alone at Gog Magog for my first CBGS event (with a little trepidation) and the first person I saw was Ant, with his big smile and I instantly felt welcome.

    My thoughts are with his family and friends, who will miss him greatly.

  9. Karl Gjertsen

    Ant was the captain of the society when I joined and was one of the friendliest and most welcoming people I have ever met. His enthusiasm for life and his infectious smile made him a pleasure to be around. He loved playing golf and loved this society…almost as much as he enjoyed winning!

    I got to know Ant well over the last few years, with a couple of trips abroad playing golf, culminating in a trip to TPC Sawgrass last year. The joy he had at getting not one, but two balls onto the 17th green was something he kept bringing up…especially as he was the only one to hit the green!

    The news of this tragic loss is something that it has taken me some time to come to terms with and I cannot imagine the impact this will have on his family and those closest to him.

    I will miss Ant and the world is a sadder place without him.

  10. Mark Winchester

    Ant has been the life and soul of the Society for many years and it has been a privilege to get to know him over that time. My main memory of Ant is that he always had a smile on his face, whether he was taking the mickey out of me or visa versa and the Society will be weaker without his hard work and more importantly his sense of humour.

    I cannot imagine what Ant’s family are going through, and they are constantly in our thoughts and prayers at this terrible time.

    RIP Ant x

  11. Sharon Gledhill

    A bright light has truly gone out.
    His radiance warmed everyone – he lit a thousand stars and more. Energetic, vibrant, an eternal competitor, encouraging, challenging, embracing, caring, a family man. What a privilege to have had him in my life, in some small way.
    Thank you Anthony, thank you for you. x

  12. Luke Molyneux

    I can only really reiterate what everyone has already said about Ant – a gentleman, extremely warm and welcoming, funny and always ready with a cheeky comment or two during prize giving (“Stand up, Adam!”).

    Sadly, I never got to play with him during a CBGS fixture (probably because he nearly always had a full group, which says it all about him), but thankfully I played against him in the semi-final of the CBGS matchplay competition a couple of years’ back. He was renowned as a very good golfer and very competitive, and sure enough we were totally outplayed by him and his partner; despite that, it was a thoroughly enjoyable round and he was such easy company.

    He will be such an incredible loss to the society, but more importantly, I cannot imagine what his wife and young children are going through. My sincere and heartfelt condolences go out to Ant’s friends and family. RIP x

  13. Adam Fernandes

    Ant was an unbelievable character and someone who will be impossible to replace.

    So many stories, so many memories (especially on tour!) that I will never forget.

    A true competitor and always centre of attention in a good way, everyone would want and was lucky to be in his company.

    I hope you’re playing more golf now than ever!

    You will be sorely missed x

  14. Alan Wright

    In sharing the CBGS and several golf courses with Ant over the years his energy for life, friendship, fun and golf were ever present. I admired his skill on the golf course, his humour in the bar and his relentless desire to improve the Society at all times. I’m deeply shocked by his loss and my heart goes out to his family, friends and One Group colleagues. He will be sorely missed as there are few that can instil energy and enthusiasm into others with the ease and charisma Ant possessed and diffused.

  15. Robin Illingworth

    I only knew Ant through the prism of CBGS, Charity Golf and of course a handful of tours. All of those occasions when he was present were better and more colourful for them. Most of us, and I can imagine him voicing his agreement at this point, are not blessed with half his golf talent or charisma. He loved winning, I can picture him cheekily feigning surprise, with an Austin Powers Dr Evil little finger to the corner of the mouth, at winning a.n.other prize – no mean achievement off low handicap in stableford format – or doing a little pot stirring jig at some achievement or other – he radiated cheeriness when wending his way through the tables to the front to collect whatever – but he also warmly applauded, whilst of course questioning the iniquities of the handicap system, when it was someone else’s day.
    A great sense of fun, a quick wit and addicted to heartily interrupting the dourest of presentation speeches, our little group is massively diminished by this incomprehensible tragedy.

  16. Richard Waters

    I have been a CGBS member for many years and there are a handful of people that you truly associate with the essence of the society and have greatly contributed to its success, Ant was one of them.

    I will always remember him as a true force of nature….an ultra competitor, passionate about golf, funny, mischievous and a great leader. I always enjoyed my conversations with Ant whenever we got to talk at an event.

    He also possessed a true sense of community, his support for MAGPAS was magnificent and no doubt contributed to saving many lives.

    We are all poorer for your passing and my heartfelt condolences go out to your family, friends and One Group colleagues.

    God bless you…RIP Ant

  17. Stella Parker

    I have to admit I didn’t immediately take to Ant when I first met him but as I got to know him I discovered his infectious sense of humour and warmed to his gregarious personality. Always full of fun and mischief!

    I only played golf with him once – last year at Felixstowe Ferry – when he gave me lots of encouragement so that I managed to play quite a challenging course quite well.

    Such a huge loss to his family, the society and everyone who knew him. RIP Ant x

  18. I have read the wonderful tributes and it’s amazing how many who didn’t know him that well had already largely the same opinion of those of us who had known him longer. Just goes to show how he was.

    I have struggled to remember how long ago I met Ant. It’s been a long time.

    He was generous, very very competitive, funny, loyal and supportive. He loved the society and leaves big shoes to fill.

    His last words to me at Woburn were “lets get some golf sorted” and sadly that’s now impossible.
    I will miss him and playing golf with him and our conversations.

    He leaves behind a huge gap not just with our society but of course at the One Group and I send my condolences to Tristan.

    But of course the biggest loss is to his family My sympathies go to Rachel and their children and his parents.

  19. Terry Dean

    Anthony was my first CBGS Captain, welcoming, charismatic and enthusiastic but what impressed me the most was, having set the bar so high, how supportive Ant was of every Captain that followed to ensure the society he loved continued to grow and go from strength to strength. This he achieved and was rightly proud.

    I’ve played a lot of golf with or should I say against Ant where I’ve seen exactly the same qualities, striving to make the best number he can, right to the end of the round but supportive of his opponents in equal measure. A true competitor and friend.

    The “golfers epitaph” from “Lyrics of the Links” describes Ant so well.

    “Here rests a manly man, beloved by all.
    True sportsman. Golfer. His example take.
    Good luck or ill might guide his cheery ball.
    He always played the game for play’s own sake.”

    RIP mate, I’ll miss you.

  20. Peter Wilson

    A vibrant life taken far too soon and a sporting gentleman on and off the course. RIP.

  21. Andrew Turpin

    I have only been a society member for a year, but one of the first people to welcome me was Ant. He was always warm and created a great fun and competitive environment to be part of.

    It’s a shame that I never got to play golf with Ant, we were talking about it only a couple of days before his sad passing. I hear he was a decent golfer, but 100% a really great bloke.

    Thoughts go out to Ant’s family and close friends. Andy

  22. Barry Burroughs

    I didn’t know Ant as well as some but I remember i played against Ant in a pairs competition at Stoke Rochford with Terry Dean which we won and unusually I played exceptionally well.

    What struck me was that Ant was genuinely as pleased for me to have played so well and us to have won. He would of course have loved to have won as was Ant’s competitive nature but it was clear to me that he just loved a proper game of golf and seeing people play well and enjoying the crack that went with it.

    In between shots as we walked the course it was clear that he loved life, his family and kids were the centre of everything and there was never a dull moment with Ant. A truly engaging and colourful character who as so many have said will be truly missed in all the circles that he moved in.

    My thoughts are with his family and many friends who have lost Ant far too early. RIP Ant.

  23. Michael Frape

    If there was any member in CBGS who was larger than life, that person was Ant. It is truly astonishing and deeply saddening that he is no longer with us.

    I was the Vice-President of CBGS prior to Ant. When the time came to pass on the role to someone who could actually play golf (unlike me), there was only one obvious candidate who had outstanding golfing ability but also (and importantly) personified the spirit of CBGS. Handing over the vice-presidency to Ant was one of my proudest moments. And I think it was one of Ant’s too.

    I got to know Ant through the society over a period of many years. Those shared experiences with Ant on and off the course will live me and are all positive. There were the numerous CBGS golf days, the odd charity day and, of course, the famous CBGS tours. Ant was in his element ‘on tour’ being the quintessential life and soul of it, but was always impeccably behaved on and off the course. I shall treasure all those memories, but the one stand-out memory (and funnily enough not a golfing memory) was his outstanding arm-wrestling victory against a huge citizen of Munich.
    Ant was the uber-competitor, but he played the game in the true manner in which it should be played. He strove to win but was always magnanimous in defeat. He was an example to all of us in his conduct.

    He was very successful in business, but understood that success brings responsibilities as well as privileges. He definitely put back hugely into society and not just by building a fantastic business which supports many livelihoods, but also by raising money for MAGPAS and by ensuring that CBGS has continued to raise vast sums for various charities over the years. His family should be justly proud of his contribution.

    There was no ‘side’ to Ant, he was brilliant company and an incredibly positive life force in any context. I send my heartfelt condolences to his wife, his children, his parents and his business partner Tristan, who will all be utterly bereft. Hopefully they will take some consolation in knowing what an outstanding man Ant was.

    “He was a man, take him for all in all,
    I shall not look upon his like again”

  24. Peter Fielder

    You will be so missed, Ant. Your enthusiasm for golf, for CBGS, for your charity work and for the One Group was infectious.

    Just one example of your impact was when I invited a guest to the CBGS event at Kings Lynn a couple of years ago. Bill had never met you before but by the end of the round he had renamed you as ‘Mr Motivator’ and has spoken warmly about you ever since.

    It has been privilege to have known you. Rest in peace.

  25. Richard Darler

    Not sure what I can add about Ant that hasn’t been said, a unique character.

    I have three memories that will stay with me.

    Whenever we met it was always hello Dickie, how are you, always interested in what I was up to.

    I remember attending one of the One Group’s Magpas golf days. I walked in to be met by Ant, hello Dickie, how are you. He had that twinkle in his eye, I should have suspected something!, 20 minutes later I’d bid for three items in the auction, none of which I really needed, but ended up taking home, all in a good cause of course, he was so passionate about his charity work.

    Finally I was so appreciative of the kind words that Ant said of the work I’d done for the society as treasurer, and its my regret that I never told him how much that meant to me.

    RIP my friend.

  26. Ant epitomized all that is good about a golfer in this type of society. Super talented, great competitor, passionate about the society and the members, fun to be with and always very sporting despite winding up as many people as possible! It is a tragic loss to all those who knew him. My thoughts are with his family. RIP Ant.

  27. Barry Peak

    Ant was an energetic, enthusiastic, charismatic and fun person that lit up all the events he attended.

    He’s highly competitive nature meant that he loved to win – this was classically shown at John O’Gaunt last year. With the team needing a good score at the 17th hole (our last), he powered a drive (with his customary draw) down the middle then 6 iron to the green and holed the put for Eagle. He delighted in telling everyone about it in the bar and was overjoyed to win the team prize.

    His early loss is a tragedy that has left a big hole in the lives of everyone who knew him. My thoughts are with his work colleagues and family. You will be deeply missed. Rest in peace, Ant.

  28. Kari Sewell

    I’ve only known Ant for the past 5 years, but he made a great impact on me and many others.

    For CBGS he brought great enthusiasm, banter, laughs, business and competitiveness. He motivated me and others to get more involved with the society. I remember fondly the rounds of golf I was fortunate to play with him and learned something each time. For example, on the UK tour in 2021, I was paired up with Ant for a round and I asked him why he carried his golf bag (rather than using a trolly). Thanks to his explanation of being able to appreciate the golf course more, I’ve carried my golf bag ever since.

    I’ve looked up to Ant as a mentor figure in business and how to build personal relationships. Gary, above, sums it up brilliantly when he says: “Whenever I spoke to him, he made me feel as though there was no one else he would rather be speaking to at the time. That fabulous knack he had with everyone which made him so special.” Even this year at Woburn, I felt great pride when he pulled me aside to warmly thank me for my contribution to the society. I was looking forward to working more closely with him in the run-up to my captaincy year in 2025 and I hope I will do him and the society proud.

    My thoughts and heart go out to his family and those close to him.

    Thank you Ant for the positive contribution and enjoyment you’ve given to so many people. Rest in peace, Ant.

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Anthony Barnes