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.”

As well as serving on the Hampshire TTA in various posts, Dave had also served other local leagues around Dorset, such as Wimborne League and Blackmore Vale League in various positions.

Dorset TTA Chairman David Beverley said: “He was also a very welcome face on a lot of the Dorset TTA meetings, in various capacities for the various leagues, over many years. Having known Dave for a long time, I and the Dorset Committee will sadly miss his input on a lot of subject matters and for his guidance on several.

“Having played a lot of matches against his club teams, I always found him rather awkward to play against, because of his style of play, but found a good comrade/competitor at all times.”

The funeral will take place at Bournemouth Crematorium on Thursday January 16 at 2pm and afterwards at The Village Hotel in Castle Lane.