Lancashire National Councillor Geoff Rushton has died at the age of 79.

Geoff served on the Lancashire County Committee for many years, more recently as the development/coaching officer, and had been the National Councillor for Lancashire for the past two years.

A regular for many years in a number of leagues in Lancashire, particularly Bolton and the former Salford/Farnworth League, Geoff also represented Lancashire and played at the Veteran World Championships. He was also well known for the role he played in the career of his son Andrew, a former England player and Commonwealth Games silver medallist who is now a national coach at British Para Table Tennis.

Andrew paid tribute to his father, saying: “As a young child, I always had a bat in my hand. Dad ran Salford TTC which a lot of children attended, and that’s where I started. It was a big and thriving club and a real community hub which produced quite a lot of good players.

“In terms of helping me, he took me everywhere. He loved table tennis and took me to every single tournament I could possibly enter, through to coaching me to my national titles.

“He was a typical father who wanted the best for me, but he learned how to get the best out of me by taking that stand-off approach and giving me advice when I needed it.

“Later, he saw me play at the Europeans and the Worlds and take my medals at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2006 and at the Commonwealth Championships.”

Lancashire TTA County Secretary David Goulden said: “It is true to say that Geoff had table tennis running through his veins and along with his wife, Joan, was responsible for the significant progress Andrew made through both the junior and senior rankings in England.

“He did coach many other players over the years until his health reduced his input more recently. Geoff did have his own thoughts on coaching and was never afraid to let everyone know what they were. He was certainly a character and will be missed by all those that knew him well.”

Geoff’s funeral is to be held on Friday 8th November at 2.20pm at Peel Green Crematorium 716 Liverpool Road, Peel Green, Eccles M30 7LW, and afterwards on to Farnworth Social Circle Cricket Club 166 Piggott Street, Farnworth, Bolton BL4 9QJ.

All who knew Geoff are welcome. Family flowers only, any donations to St Anne’s Hospice.