Former Durham National Councillor and Chairman Michael Wilson has died at the age of 82.

Born in East Boldon near Sunderland in 1935, Mr Wilson was a relatively late convert to table tennis, beginning playing in the early 1980s when his children became involved in the sport.

From practising with his son on the table in the canteen at Coles Cranes, where he worked, within a couple of years he was playing for the works teams in the Sunderland and District League.

From there, his involvement in the sport flourished and he became one of three founder members of Sunderland TTC in 1989. He went on to be Chairman from 2001 to 2010, Development Officer from 2001 to 2014 and acting Treasurer from 2012 to 2014.

In the Sunderland and District League, he was Registrar from 1993-98, Chairman from 1998 to 2014, Press Officer from 1997 to 2009 and Development Officer from 1997 to 2014. He was elected a Life Member in 2010.

He also served at both regional and national level, as Development Officer of Durham County TTA from 1997 to 2014, Vice-Chairman from 2007/8 to 2014 and Press Officer from 2006/7 to 2010/11. He was elected a Life Member in 2010.

Nationally, he was National Councillor for Durham from 1998/9 to 2014, a member of Membership Committee from 2009/10 to 2014 and received the Maurice Goldstein Merit Award in 2010. In 2013, he became a Vice-President.

He was the Tyne and Wear English Schools’ Table Tennis Association Chairman from 2000 to 2006.

Sunderland League Secretary David Bissett said of Mr Wilson: “He was a tireless worker for table tennis in the area, even though he came in quite late.

“He was very supportive of young players coming into the league.”

Sunderland & District TTA Chairman Chris Blake added: “He was a true gent, a nice man. He was always about trying to make sure there was a legacy for the sport and he was really supportive of me when I took over when he retired. He will be a big miss.”

Mr Wilson is survived by his wife Lilian, daughter Heather and son Stuart. There will be a private cremation on Monday June 26th, followed by a memorial service at 2pm at St Andrew’s Church, Talbot Road, Roker, Sunderland, SR6 9PT.