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Obituaries

Obituary: Colin McLean (October 2021)

On Behalf of all the Bournemouth League & any others who knew him.

It is with deep regret that we announce the passing of Colin McLean who died in the early hours of Monday 25th October.

Colin’s funeral will take place on Friday 19th November at 3.00pm and will be held at The Harbour View Woodland Burial Ground, Randalls Hill, Lytchett Minster, Poole. BH16 6AN.

Sean McLean (Colin's Nephew) has asked me to send you the link for making donations to the Great Ormond Street Research fund:

The family request is for no flowers, but donations to Great Ormond Street Hospital would be much appreciated and in accordance with Colin’s wishes.

Here is the link for donations. Make a funeral donation to (tapperfuneralservice.co.uk).

It may take a little while to load up the website and you may have to use the Search facility to get to Colin’s page.

The Burial Ground is in a beautiful location and the whole occasion will be conducted there, including refreshments after the ceremony.

A full tribute to Colin, including his lifelong work for table tennis, will be appearing on this site in the near future, when Available.

On behalf of the Dorset County TTA Committee as the Chairman, may I send our sincere condolences to Sean & all of Colin's Family on his very sad passing.

I had the very great privilege of knowing Colin & his Companion for several years, as a player, Committee Member (Poole League), & various other activities connected with Table Tennis in Dorset.

He will, I am sure be sadly missed by anyone who knew him, both in Dorset and afar.

Unfortunately due to various situations, Health & otherwise, I must apologies for my absence at the Funeral, but the County will be a Donation to the Great Ormond Street Hospital Fund, as I am aware of Colin's attendances at the Hospital over a series of Years.

Mr. David Beverley, Dorset TTA Chair.

COLIN Mc.Lean's STORY.

The Story of Colin McLean before Okehampton.

Colin joined the Eldon PHAB (Physically Handicapped and Able Bodied) Club in Croydon in 1964, which was originally formed in 1950 and was then known as the Eldon Social Club and catered for all sports and activities.

He and others started playing table tennis on a kitchen table until they had raised enough funds to buy a proper table. He pushed for the club to enter a team, and the league committee visited to check the venue, but he really felt they were checking to see if these disabled payers could play well enough as at that time the league didn’t have any disabled players.

They passed with flying colours and the club never looked back.

Colin started in Division seven and, over the years progressed to Division two. They used to play in an old hall, but Colin started a building fund and as a result of many fund raising events, including a 24 hour table tennis marathon and donations, they reached the sum of £80,000 and a new hall was built.

Colin did have help from at least 3 famous people, who championed the fund raising events; Henry Cooper, Roy Hudd and Paul Nihill (Olympic silver medallist for walking).

Today the club has 11 teams spanning 3 leagues, with over 90 members, and Colin is still remembered. Colin spent 28 years at the club and built up the membership to over 200 members. Colin held many committee positions; his favourite was probably Club Leader, very fitting for the amount of time and effort he put into the club.

The Story of Colin McLean in Okehampton.

They passed with flying colours and the club never looked back.

During his time in Okehampton, mainly in the 90’s, Colin inspired the building of a tailor-made Table Tennis Centre in the middle of the town. It’s a fine building with a 6 table competition hall, an additional coaching room and excellent social facilities. It was mostly funded by local donations and put Okehampton on the table tennis map as a place for South West Region and National events and also with a reputation across the area for excellent coaching.

It’s a high quality modern building and a real asset to the town as it is used for activities other than tennis table in order to help its financial viability. It’s certainly an admirable legacy of Colin’s time in the town and a very valuable local asset to the whole community.

The Story of Colin McLean in Dorset.

When Colin arrived in Poole, around the turn of the century, little did anyone know what a transformation in table tennis for young people – and for some older ones as well – was going to happen. He began by playing in the Poole League for Lytchett Matravers – and playing remarkably well! A couple of years later he heard about a smallish primary school in Bournemouth which had started an after-school club and was looking for someone to help with coaching. The rest, as they say, is history.

Over a period of around 10 years the Townsend Club reached out to Porchester School (later known as Harewood College) and Colin drove the development of a Club which was community based, though with a very strong emphasis on finding and developing young players, many of whom now play in the Bournemouth League. The Poole League was transformed into a Pairs League with teams of all ages and playing levels taking part. In order to expand the horizons of the young players in particular he encouraged participation in national tournaments as well as the ETTA Cadet and Junior Leagues and much success was achieved in both. He also ran annual competitions for local schools.

Colin was leading most of these developments, but was joined in 2010 by two local Community Coaches funded by a mix of national and local funding. James Lewis and Jo Kuzu added an extra dimension to what could be provided in other schools and communities and James built on Colin’s success in putting the Club on the national table tennis map as a Premier Club. At the same time Colin was busy and active in developing the Branksome Heath Club as the only Community table tennis provision in Poole. Whilst organisation of leagues and tournaments was important, a focus on coaching was retained through regular sessions led by Colin, James and Jo and highlighted at least once a year by coaching camps led by Alex Perry, former England Number 1 and Commonwealth Games medallist, and Nicola Perry, six times English National champion. In addition the Bournemouth League sponsored Saturday morning coaching sessions for young beginners and also for adults.

The other significant event that took place during this period was the building of the Roy Moore Sports Hall at Harewood. It made possible the hosting of large events, using up to 24 tables, and thereby highlighted the progress made over the previous three years in particular. Unfortunately it was not available to table tennis for regular weekday use, and therefore, when the opportunity arose to form a partnership with Grange School which would give our sport the option of exclusive access to a tailor-made high quality venue, the rationale for moving was irresistible.

The Dorset Table Tennis Centre located in the Grange School – with 16 tables available weekends and evenings – was a great legacy to what Colin and others under his leadership and guidance had achieved. It is to be hoped that the table tennis community in this area will support and develop it to its full potential.

Colin is warmly remembered by the many hundreds of players of all ages who have come into contact with him over the years. His determination, kindness and sheer ability to get things done were admired by all who had the privilege of knowing him. Equally remembered is his lovely partner Sheila who sadly passed away in September 2021.


Colin McLean's Life Story

Colin McLean's Life Story

Obituary: Maggie White (October 2020)

On Behalf of all the Bournemouth League & any others who knew her.

It is with great sadness that we report the recent death of Maggie White following a short illness.

Maggie played for North Bournemouth in the Bournemouth and District Table Tennis League for a number of years, firstly out of Pelhams and then latterly at Winton YMCA.

However, over recent times she had to temporarily lay down her bat, due to hip and knee replacement problems, but was hopeful to return to the league this coming season.

She was an attack minded player, aggressive on the table but mild and gentle away from it.

Being of good division two standard, Maggie was called upon to represent her adopted County of Dorset on a number of occasions, although previously she had played her table tennis in Sussex.

Maggie was a leading member of the National Vets league and was its regional social secretary for many years.

Our deepest sympathies are extended to Brian, her husband, and all his family.

John Burtenshaw, Late South West Region Chairman

John Burtenshaw (1933-2020)

Sad news to share with all county players and members who knew John Burtenshaw.

Following a long period of poor health and illness John passed away yesterday, June 9th, aged 87. It had been his birthday just last Tuesday. He'd had prostate cancer towards the end of last year and although his operation was thought successful he'd had to go back to hospital with sepsis.

Ann Sandford from the Weston league reported seeing John at a Christmas function in December where he had lost a lot of weight and wasn't feeling at all well. He was back in hospital in May and it was feared the cancer had returned.

John had a lifelong love of table tennis; he originally came from Kent and every year since moving to Somerset still received a handbook from his old Kent club.

John was deeply involved in the sport he loved. When the Weston league started in 1977 John soon became an active member, including a spell as Chairman, and until recently still served on the committee. He represented Somerset as the county's National Councillor at Table Tennis England and for some years was also Chairman of Table Tennis England South West Region. He was very much a committee man but also played in the Weston league running a team for a while.

We will pass on details of the funeral arrangements once we know.

Les Whittaker

Les Whittaker

It is with regret that I have been informed of the death of Les Whittaker, circumstances as of yet unknown to me.

Les was a very faithful servant, comrade & friend to Table Tennis within the Dorset County set up for many Years, & on behalf the Dorset County Association, I would like to extend my Sincere Sympathies to all his Family.

From David Beverley, Dorset TTA, Chair & Treasurer.

Obituary: Les Whittaker, former National Councillor

Author: Paul Stimpson; TTE. Publish date: January 13, 2020

Les Whittaker, former National Councillor for Dorset, has died after a battle with motor neurone disease. He was 73.

National Councillor for Dorset from 2012 to 2017, Les was also a member of the South West Regional Committee. As a player, he most notably played in the Blackmoor Vale League up to 2018.

Rod Fry, Chairman of his club, Compton Abbas TTC, said: Les joined the league in about 1998 initially playing for the Child Okeford club but from 2002 he played at the Compton Abbas club where he soon became an integral member of the club. Sadly because of problems with his shoulder, he was unable to play at all in the 2018/19 season and as his condition became worse he was eventually diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease.

It is no secret that Les unquestionably lived for playing table tennis and competed in three different leagues, the Blackmore Vale League, the Wimborne League and at times in the Salisbury League. In addition, as if that was not enough, he would travel far and wide to play in the English Veterans tournaments both in this country and abroad.

His enthusiasm for the sport did not limit him to just playing but also getting heavily involved in committee work within the Blackmore Vale and Wimborne leagues, the Dorset Table Tennis Association and acting as National Councillor for Dorset within the English Table Tennis Association (now Table Tennis England).

He also had two spells as Chairman of the Blackmore Vale League, served as its Secretary for a time and was also its Vice President.

Les was always very open and approachable off the table and extremely willing to offer advice should any club or player need help with any issue. On the table, he was a very enthusiastic player and, winning or losing, he always had a complimentary word to say to his opponent.

It is to his credit that once diagnosed with the debilitating problem of MND, Les managed to maintain a cheerful and irrepressible persona throughout the months of his illness. When visiting him, he was always cheerful and pleased to hear about how the leagues were faring, which clubs were doing well or badly and who was winning what. Such was his level of interest, even though he knew he could no longer be a part of it.

He received many visitors both in the Poole Hospital and latterly at the Forest Hill House nursing home for which he was very grateful as it made him still feel part of the sport he loved. As a league, we will not only miss his enthusiasm and knowledge but also for being the gentleman that he was.

David Beverley, Chair and Treasurer of Dorset TTA, added: Les was also a very good friend of the now recently departed David Turner. I always had a good relationship with Les, both in competitive matches and in committee levels, and it is hard to lose two such good friends in such quick circumstances so close together at this time of the year.

The Funeral will take place at, Harbour View Crematorium, Lytchett Minster, Poole on Friday 24th January 2020 at 11.30am.

Dave Turner

Dave Turner

It is with regret that I have been informed of the death of Dave Turner, whilst in attendance at a National Councilors Meeting over the weekend of 14th/15th December @ TTE Headquarters, Milton Keynes

Dave was a very faithful servant, comrade & friend to Table Tennis within the Bournemouth; Dorset & Hampshire Counties for many Years, & on behalf the Dorset County Association, I would like to extend my Sincere Sympathies to all his Family.

For any information Please Contact either of the following; Gordon White (BMTH League Secretary) ; Phil Hadley (BMTH Chair)

From David Beverley, Dorset TTA, Chair & Treasurer.

Obituary: David Turner: National Councillor

Author: Paul Stimpson; Publish date: December 16, 2019

The following taken from TTE Website.

Tributes have been paid to Hampshire National Councillor David Turner, who has died suddenly at the age of 79.

David, also Chairman of the Southern Region, had attended a meeting of Regional Chair at the Table Tennis England offices in Milton Keynes on Friday and was due to attend the National Council meeting on Saturday. However, he very sadly passed away on Friday evening.

David had been a member of the Bournemouth & District Table Tennis Association for some 60 years and started serving in the league in 1974, holding a number of positions including Chairman, Secretary, Tournament Secretary and, more recently, Vice Chairman, President and Life Vice President.

He was the Chairman of the Hampshire Table Tennis Association and over the past decade he was also Chairman of the Table Tennis England Southern Region, a role which he at one point combined with South East Regional Chair when the necessity arose.

In 2001, he was given the Maurice Goldstein Award for his services to table tennis.

National Council Chairman Estyn Williams said: Dave served National Council for quite a long period and gave great service in Hampshire and to the table tennis family. We send our sincere condolences to his wife and family.

Table Tennis England Board member Charlie Childs, who had known Dave for many years, said: Dave Turner was one of those folk who simply volunteered in the sport that he loved. When others failed to step up to the plate Dave was always there ready and willing to take on the role.

Apart from playing regularly when he was younger, only curtailed by disability, he has held numerous voluntary positions in our sport. Dave was simply one of those folk who loved to help and will be sadly missed in our sport.

The funeral will take place at Bournemouth Crematorium, Charminster, Thursday January 16th 2020 at 2pm.