Remembering Lanark badminton great John Barrie after his death aged 83

John Barrie meets Scottish badminton patron Prince Edward at the 2011 Scottish Open Championships
John Barrie meets Scottish badminton patron Prince Edward at the 2011 Scottish Open Championships

It was with great sadness that Gazette Sport learned of the death of Lanark badminton legend John Barrie MBE at the age of 83 on Sunday.

John died in Wishaw General Hospital after a recent battle against illness, but his incredible legacy in badminton circles and in general life will last forever.

Born in Lanark back in 1933, this painter and decorator’s son was to spend the vast majority of his life in the Royal Burgh.

John only missed one Lanimer Day in his life (this year’s due to ill health), he was Lord Cornet in 1977 and also a ‘well kent’ face thanks to his considerable badminton achievements which ultimately saw him awarded an MBE in 2014 for 65 years of service to the sport he loved.

Nearly 70 years ago, John started working at local family business Alex Barrie and Sons after leaving Lanark Grammar School aged just 14.

And he was to work there in various guises until 2005, a spell only interrupted by a two-year stint as a Lance Corporal during his National Service from June 1954 to February 1956.

John’s numerous badminton achievements are too plentiful to list entirely here, although highlights included him winning four caps for his country as a young man, six World Masters gold medals, 11 Scottish Masters men’s singles titles and numerous over-60s titles.

Incredibly, John continued playing competitive badminton into his 70s and kept coaching local youngsters until very recently.

He is survived by his wife Mary, whom he wed in September 1961, plus daughters Jill and Ruth and four grandchildren.

“People knew dad for his badminton but he was very much a family man,” Jill said.

“He was a great dad, a loyal husband to mum and just loved his sport.

“He was quite a unique character in so many ways.”