Bill Wadling a stalwart of Table Tennis in Essex has died at the age of 85. He began his involvement began in Ilford during the 1950’s where he was responsible for organising tournaments for the Ilford Table Tennis League. He moved to Essex County Admin and became Senior Match Secretary at a time when Essex were in the ascendancy Table Tennis wise with the likes of Chester Barnes, Bobby Stevens, Stuart Gibbs, Brian Brumwell, Lesley Bell all available to play for the county. The 1964-65 County Championship season with Bill at the helm saw Essex win the Premier Division for the first time. Since the start of the championships in 1947 only two counties had won the title, Middlesex and Surrey. Thanks to the stewardship of Bill, Essex would be the dominant force for the next eight years winning 6 titles during that time. County records are a little sketchy around this time but we believe Bill continued as Senior Match Secretary for a further two years until 1967.
In 1968 for his excellent endeavours with the County Seniors Bill received the prestigious Corti Woodcock Memorial Award.
Bill with his wife Jean, a very good Table Tennis player in her own right, moved to mid Essex and he took on roles with the Chelmsford Table Tennis League. He was also playing, at first for Hoffman’s and then joining the Essex County Council Table Tennis Club in the 1975 – 76 season, joining with Dave Platt, John Reed, Celia Fowler and wife, Jean. He continued playing to about 1988. Bill’s first match was against Britvic B and he beat both K. Purton and C. Watson and played the Doubles with Celia Fowler.
Chelmsford League roles at this time were varied.
Senior Match Secretary. 1986 – 87 to 1992 – 93.
Committee Member. 1993 – 94.
Vice Chairman. 1994 – 95 to 1998 – 99.
Competitions Secretary. 1995 – 96 to 1996 – 97. (Bill took over from Jean Wadling).
The Chelmsford League made Bill Wadling a Life Member in 1998.
Not content with Chelmsford roles Bill returned to Essex County duties joining Essex Standing Sub-Committees – Senior Affairs. 1988 – 89 to 1993 – 94 and Coaching. 1988 – 89 to 1993 – 94. He also returned as Senior Match Secretary. 1988 -89 to 1993 -94. Bill picked up the mantle with the Essex first team in Division 1A, in 1989 they gained promotion to the Premier division, but they were relegated the following year. 1991 they managed second in division 1B but in 1992 they won division 1B and were back in the Premier. With Bill still managing things they consolidated their place in the 1992-93 season ready for an assault on the Premier title last won in the 1979-80 season. He had some good players to call upon for this year, including Skylet Andrew, Steve Dorking, Cris Sladden, Grant Solder, Linda Radford and Shelley Ruocco. Essex were triumphant, unbeaten in their seven matches and 4 clear points ahead of their nearest rivals. Bill always said his proudest moment was Essex winning the County Championships. He was probably unique in that he was involved with two Essex county teams winning the title a generation apart. Bill stood down from the role in 1994 and was elected a Vice President for the 1994-95 season. In 1995 Bill was made an Honorary Life Member of the County Association.
To finish we thought it fitting to reproduce the County Championship report first published in the April 1965 edition of Table Tennis proclaiming the success of Essex. Just one name missing from the Essex line-up, Bill Wadling, an important member of the team behind the scenes. Bill had an unquenchable enthusiasm for Table Tennis, with true dedication and a great sense of humour. Those in the Table Tennis community who knew him will be saddened by his passing.
ESSEX ARE NEW CHAMPIONS
ESSEX, with a narrow 5-4 win over Surrey, took the Premier Division Championship for the first time and broke a Middlesex run of five successive titles. Surrey put up a great fight with George Murray fully extending Chester Barnes, and a men’s doubles far too close for comfort for Barnes and Bobby Stevens. Murray had a good match as he also beat Stuart Gibbs in a tight finish. Mary Shannon beat Lesley Bell over three games. The Gloucestershire – Middlesex clash for second place produced some excellent table tennis but only in the first set of the evening was a deciding game needed. Bryan Merrett had a set point against Brian Wright in the second and then put a hit off at 19all in the third. Wright was the Middlesex star as he also beat Ian Harrison, in an encounter which produced some magnificent shots, and took the mixed doubles with Irene Ogus, deputising for Diane Rowe. Irene also won her singles, but Middlesex could manage no more.
Table Tennis April 1965-Issue No. 190 - See page 20 for the report
The Funeral Service will be held on Tuesday 2nd March 2021 at 15:30.
Physical Location: Colchester Crematorium.
Live Webcast: https://www.obitus.com/
Username – Ciko7641
Password – 804535
Please log onto the website at any time to view a test connection (strongly recommended you do this) but you’ll only be able to view the Live Webcast approx. 5 mins before the service start time. Please be aware this is a public building and the timing of the Live webcast is semi-automated to allow for services running early or late – please use your discretion if you can see activities not applicable to the service you are here to watch.
Personal message from Bill’s son Andy Wadling
Whilst we would love to have a funeral and gathering afterwards to celebrate Dads life as it stands today we are limited to 20 persons for a 20 minute service only. Whilst we know many friends and family would normally like to attend and we would have loved to have welcomed one and all to celebrate and share stories from our past, perhaps bringing a smile or two from nice memories shared. We appreciate it is recommended not to travel at present, some people are locked down for their health, cherry picking people who can or cannot attend seems inappropriate to us, worrying about causing upset if people were not invited to attend and vice versa unfair pressure if parties are invited – on this basis we believe that the best compromise (best option not necessarily good I do realise this) is that only the immediate family myself, Kate, Amy, Matt and Gee (Matt’s fiancée) will attend in person and a web cast will be available for everyone else to attend remotely. My deepest and sincerest apologies for this but I think it is the most practical way and hopefully ensure everyone stays safe and well. The irony of this is that technology will assist Dad’s friends and family to wish him farewell on his final journey and for a complete techno phobe like Dad it sums up these current times.
Please note a MuchLoved web site has been created for Dad https://williamwadling.muchloved.com . The site will allow parties to share stories, and much more so please do share as in the current climate a traditional social gathering to share stories and memories will not be possible so let’s maximise the technology. In addition there is a donation feature in lieu of floral tributes to give to Colchester Food Bank as that seems a more appropriate gesture in current times.
If anyone needs help or to discuss anything about arrangements or just wishes to catch up that would be great and I can be reached on 07876 196272.
Most importantly we hope you are staying safe and well.
Please share to anyone who knew Dad if you feel they may wish to attend the web cast as that would be most appreciated and lovely.
Andy, Kate, Amy, Matt and Gee.