It was with great sadness that I heard of the death of George Walsh on the night of 28th April.

I first met George in the early 1950s when I played against him in the first Division of the Wembley & Harrow Table Tennis League. He was playing for the Wembley Institute, at that time, a leading Club in the country. During the next 60 years George was to become a very good Table Tennis colleague and friend.

George played in the League for various clubs for some 50 years. With his height and reach, coupled with a whirlwind style, he was a formidable opponent. One of the most popular players in the League, he included, amongst his closest friends, our legendary England International Alan Rhodes, with whom he kept in touch during Alan’s retirement to Spain. In 1956 George was elected to the League Management Committee as Elvin Cup Secretary and subsequently undertook various roles on the Committee, including representing Table Tennis on the Harrow Sports Council. In 1981 he was elected Vice Chairman of the League, a position he still held at the time of his death. During his many years on the Management Committee he was a mainstay, always willing to help in any way he could. On the Committee he had a strong sense of collective responsibility.

George also became a qualified coach, for many years being one of the leading coaches for the League at the Harrow Leisure Centre. He also undertook coaching for the London Borough of Harrow. Again, his friendly approach to those he coached and his fellow coaches was a great asset.

In 1981 George widened his interests by joining the Executive Committee of the Middlesex Table Tennis Association. He concentrated his efforts on the Middlesex teams in the County Championships in his normal industrious and conscientious way. In 2007 the English Table Tennis Association awarded him the Leslie Forest Memorial Trophy for his services to the County Championships. As ever, he was willing to undertake other tasks, including representing Middlesex on the E.T.T.A. London Region Committee. In 2009 he was conferred with the distinction of Honorary Life Membership of the Middlesex Table Tennis Association, a distinction that he told me he truly appreciated.

It is probably not too much of an exaggeration to say that the life of George revolved around Table Tennis. He met his wife, Linda, through Table Tennis and their three children, Colin, Caroline and Neil all played, as result of his encouragement.

Table Tennis has lost an outstanding friend and supporter, who will be greatly missed by everybody who knew him.

Michael Close

Click here to read the eulogy from his son Neil Walsh.