“The man with the funny shaped bat”
On the 22nd December 2016 we heard the sad news that Brian had passed away following a short illness. He had celebrated his birthday two days earlier on the 20th.
Brian was a top class table tennis player who represented both Dagenham and Essex as well as running a highly rated table tennis club called Milestone, in the East End of London from which many players benefited and reached a high standard.
I personally first met Brian when I was eight years old when he used to take me to West Ham United along with his close friend Eddie Sawyer and he ensured I was passed down the front to see the match; something I will never forget.
In later years I played against him on a number of occasions in table tennis matches in the East London League and these were all very competitive particularly when I lost to him in the Milestone match room (called the art room) when I was at the peak of my playing days.
In later years Brian ran and helped organise the Dagenham FC Table Tennis Club in the British League and along with Jimmy Cleeves and Peter Cranmer made playing such a special occasion with coaches of supporters travelling to away matches throughout the country.
Brian was an avid supporter of Dagenham and Redbridge FC and attended weekly with his grandchildren and was subsequently made Vice Chairman for his services.
In closing how will I remember Brian? Yes, he was competitive, but along with that came a thoroughly special human being who would always have a smile and would help anyone who asked.
Brian you will be sadly missed by many, many people especially your wonderful family.
Rest in Peace
PRESIDENT OF ESSEX TABLE TENNIS ASSOCIATION
Essex Vice-President, Neil Brierley added:-
“Brian was a fine player, who represented the Dagenham League many times during its heyday in the 60s and 70s. The talent pool at the time was very deep and Bob Potton, Les Eadie, Kevin Caldon, Sky Andrew, Dave Randall and Brian Mailey (and countless more) were all competing for places. Brian had a warm and ready smile and friendly handshake and he was truly a gentleman and a very popular guy in the world of Table Tennis. In more recent years, he had moved to Clacton and played in the Local League.”
Brian’s Funeral is this Thursday,12th January – 13.20 at the South Essex Crematorium in Upminster. The address is – Ockendon Road, Corbets Tey, Upminster, RM14 2UY (Telephone Number 01708 434433)