Brian Jackson will be umpiring at his first major international event

England’s participation in the Commonwealth Games table tennis event does not begin and end with the players – there is a large squad of umpires in Glasgow as well.

A total of 16 International Umpires from England will be officiating at the Scoutstoun Sports Campus.

They include four Blue Badge umpires – David Cochrane, David Edwards, John Mackey and Russell Sutcliffe – and four former Blue Badge holders – David Brown, Margot Fraser, Tom Purcell and Karen Tonge.

The contingent is completed by Neil Curtis, David Goulden, Dave Gough, Brian Jackson, Harry Jutle, Alex Mercer, Lynda Reid and Robert Williamson.

Gough, Jackson, Jutle and Mercer were among the English officials who passed the International Umpires Exam in June, meaning Glasgow will be their first experience of a major international multi-sport event.

That does not faze Jackson, who has plenty of experience to draw on, having played table tennis in the Blackpool League for 42 years, as well as operating as a tournament organiser and referee at a national level.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” said the 53-year-old. “I’ve been literally counting the days.

“I was at the Paralympics as a technical official operating electronic scoreboards, but this is the first time I’m going to a big event as an umpire.”

The civil servant added: “I keep very calm with most things and try to be as fair as possible to everybody.

“I just can’t wait to get up there – I’m really excited.”

The prospect is no less exciting for Reid, who was an umpire at the London Paralympics, having worked in the call room at the Olympics a few weeks previously.

She said: “Having been in Glasgow at the Commonwealth Championships a few years ago, I’m really looking forward to going back there and meeting the same people and the same volunteers who I know will be there.

“We’ll put on a great show, we’re all raring to go. I’ll be with colleagues who I know are equally professional.”

As well as the umpires, Stuart Sherlock is the tournament referee, while Jim Kenny is the assistant technical operations manager. Chris Newton, Cherly Alvey and Amanda Winskill will be volunteer team leaders.

By Paul Stimpson (22nd July, 2014)