It was with great sadness that we learnt of the recent death of Derek Tyler, a Table Tennis England Vice-President.

Derek was born in Hastings in 1921 and was active in the Hastings League for many years. He was a President, Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Vice-President and General Secretary at different times.

Derek was also active in his county of Sussex and was the Sussex Open official organiser from 1957-1975 and involved in various capacities prior to this. His work with the county led to him being made a Vice-President of Sussex. At National level Derek was an ETTA Appeals Committee Member.

It was as an umpire that Derek was perhaps better known in the wider table tennis community. He passed his National Umpires’ exam in 1958 and became an International Umpire in 1974. Derek umpired at many tournaments at home and abroad, officiating at three World Championships in 1957, 1977 and 1993 as well as Commonwealth Championships in Cardiff, European Championships, many English Opens, National Championships and International matches.

Umpiring led to his marriage to Josine, whom he met at the 1971 European Youth Championships which were held in Ostend. At this tournament Derek led a squad of 12 National Umpires. Derek was also an ITTF Umpire Assessor, a role he undertook at the 1991 and 1997 Worlds. In all he carried out over 700 assessments for over 54 Federations.

Following his marriage Derek moved to Belgium where he lived for many years but returned annually to Hastings – to visit his dentist. He always dropped in at the ETTA offices and Rob Sinclair, General Secretary, used to take much pleasure in taking Derek out for lunch where he caught up with what was happening on the English scene.

Derek came from a table tennis family and he told the tale of how his father, a dentist, drilled some grooves in his wooden bat to get more grip, unfortunately the bat has disappeared.

Derek kept up a close friendship with Ivan Andreadis for 45 years after umpiring him on one occasion. It was this friendship that gave him the greatest satisfaction from all his table tennis activities.

Our condolences to Josine.

To read Ian Marshall’s personal tribute to Derek Tyler on the ITTF website, click here