Players and officials in the Chelmsford & District Table Tennis League will be very sad to hear that Fred Hayman has died. Fred did a huge amount to encourage people to take up the sport and former players – Mark Sweeting, Alan Clancy and Colin Gooday have reminisced and written the following obituary.

In the middle of the 1950s the YMCA in Victoria Road, Chelmsford, opened and Fred Hayman decided this was the ideal opportunity to help keep young people off the streets by forming a table tennis section for junior players.

This proved to be very successful with many young people joining up and Fred spent much of his spare time at the YMCA – six days a week, organising teams, organising transport for away matches, arranging for local coaches Geoff Newman and Graham Taplin to do free coaching and, when standards had improved, organising transport and accommodation for the players to enter junior tournaments around the country.

He also arranged for many players to visit the thriving St Luke’s Club in Canning Town where the well-known Father Goose ran a similar venture for local youngsters to participate in joint table tennis tournaments and this continued for several years.

As a result of Fred’s efforts many of these young players developed into senior players who enjoyed a degree of success in Chelmsford and adjoining leagues and also at County Level.

Some of the names that older players may remember are Mark Sweeting, Barry Payne, Nigel Bates, Peter Hammond, Colin Gooday, Alan Clancy, Barry McDonald, Dave and Mick Roblin, Richard Bloomfield and Paul Olive.

In his later years Fred worked for Farleigh Hospice and every Christmas for many years he produced a gigantic quiz that he used to sell around the town to raise money for the Hospice.

Fred was a genuinely nice person who seemed to be happiest when he was helping others and this brief resume of his life doesn’t begin to tell all the good work he carried out.

Sadly Fred died earlier this week at the grand old age of 96 and his funeral will be held at 1.30pm on Monday 17 October 2016 at the Chelmsford Crematorium when hopefully many people who remember him will turn up to pay their last respects.