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Vale - John Barling

The Sharks acknowledge the passing of John Barling, a true pioneer and one of the founding fathers from the Club’s early days.

Amongst those who helped lay turf at Endeavour Field in 1968 prior to the first game at what is now the Sharks spiritual home, John Barling was an enthusiastic member of the Ways and Means committee in assisting with efforts to keep the Club financially viable through some challenging times and was amongst those instrumental in making the annual Grand Final luncheons the envy of other clubs.

John passed away last week, aged 90.

Always fervent in his support of the Sharks, John was instrumental in guiding the club through its formative years.

“Dad was one of many of the early locals to support the newly formed Cronulla Sutherland rugby league team, from the Sutherland Oval home games, to the Endeavour Field days, watching the players go around from the dizzy heights of the ‘Meccano stand (now ET stand),” his son Mark Barling explained.

“All in all, great friendships were forged on the back of volunteering and supporting his beloved Sharks, and through mum (John’s wife Joan who passed away 2013) and dad, a passion that’s been passed down through the generations.    

“He was passionate about the Sharks and was enthusiastically involved on the Ways and Means Committee as they thought up ways to help raise funds for the club to be kept financially viable. The legendary Grand Final luncheon took pride and place of their achievements,” Mark added.

He leaves behind seven children, 21 grandchildren and nine great grandchildren.

The Sharks offer their condolences to John Barling’s family and friends, with a funeral service to be held at St Patrick’s Church, Sutherland, tomorrow (Friday May 21), at 10.30 am.