Our three pictures this week encompass coaching and juniors. Are you able to provide any of the following information?

Click here to scroll to last week’s pictures

Photo 1 – News of the World Coaching Scheme

In the Middle Row we have our late former President Johnny Leach, MBE, flanked by Susan Howard on the left and Jill Hammersley, MBE and Richard Yule on the right. Any information about the date, venue and players would be welcome.

Photo 2 – Middlesex Juniors 1951/52, copyright Peter Madge

Players, venue, date and occasion unknown. Can you help?

Photo 3 – Sussex Junior County Team from the Leslie Woollard collection. Copyright Woods and Porter, Dartford, Kent

On the right is Bill Goldfinch. Does anyone know who the players are, when the picture was taken and at what event?

Thanks once again to all who have provided information this week from all around the country, including a delightful email from a 13-year-old young lady who recognised her Grandpa.

As well as providing much discussion at many events I understand a wealth of knowledge is being added to the archive material. I am pleased to receive any additional information or amendments at any time, which will be added to the series of photographs held under ‘Our Sport’. Contact [email protected]

Photo 1

Venue: Lilleshall, National Sports Centre.
Date: Probably 1973/74.
Occasion: Junior Assessment Group.
Copyright: Roger Price, Newport, Shropshire.
Back row: x, Ian Smith (La), x, Robert (Bob) Potton? x
Middle row: x, Keith Richardson, x, Andy Barden, Melody Ludi
Front row: Julie Reading (Ha), Karen Witt (Bk), Peter Hirst (Coach), Susan Howard (Coach), Colin Henderson (In charge of fitness training), Anita Stevenson? x

Pen pictures

Robert (Bob) Potton – An England international who later played for the Netherlands. In the 1981 World Championships Bob was a member of the Swaythling Cup team which finished sixth. On the home front, Bob reached the Men’s Singles semi-finals in the National Championships in 1978 and 1981 and the Men’s Doubles semi-finals twice – in 1976 with Ian (Benny) Robertson and 1978 with Nicky Jarvis.

Karen Witt – An England International, England No 1 and World No 46. Karen played in five World Championships in the 1970s and 1980s, finishing seventh in 1983 in the Corbillon Cup. European honours saw a team bronze in 1982. Karen was a regular team member in European League matches. Commonwealth Championships saw much success, with a team gold in 1985 and silver in 1977. In 1985 Karen gained another gold in the Women’s Singles and a semi-final place with Lisa Bellinger. Further success in 1977 with Melody Ludi in the Women’s Doubles, with another Championship win. Karen played in several English Opens and was team runner-up in 1980. At the National Championships, Karen won the Women’s Singles in 1983, was runner-up in 1979 and semi-finalist in 1978 and 1985. In the Women’s Doubles, she was champion with Jill Hammersley in 1983 and runner-up with Angela Tierney (1976), Melody Ludi (1979) and Sarah Sandley (1985), whilst the Mixed Doubles saw further medals with Nigel Eckersley (gold in 1978) and Joey Kennedy (silver in 1985).

Susan Howard – An England International who won gold at the Commonwealth Championships in 1973 in the Women’s Doubles with Jill Hammersley. In the English Open of 1974, Susan reached the semi-finals of the Women’s Doubles, again with Jill. National Championships success with a silver medal in the Mixed Doubles with Tony Clayton in 1973, as well as Women’s Singles semi-finalist in 1975 and the same position in the Women’s Doubles with sister, Linda Howard, in 1970, 1971, 1972 and 1973 and with Jill in 1974 and Shelagh Hession in 1975.

Anita Stevenson – An England International who played in the Corbillon Cup team in the World Championships in 1979 which finished 12th. In 1980 at the European Championships, Anita earned a team bronze, and at the Commonwealth Championships in 1977 she reached the quarter-finals of the Mixed Doubles with Robert Wiley. The English Open saw Anita reach three semi-finals in the Women’s Doubles in 1979, 1980 and 1982, all with Carole Knight. In the National Championships, Anita was runner-up in the Women’s Singles in 1982 and semi-finalist in 1975, 1978 and 1979. Two titles came in the Women’s Doubles in 1980 and 1982 as well as runner-up in 1978 and 1981, all with Carole Knight.

Photo 2

Venue: Lilleshall.
Date: September 1964.
Occasion: unknown
Copyright: Daily Mirror.
Players: unknown.
Spectators: x, Elsie Carrington, Bill Vint, OBE, Jack Carrington, Godfrey Decker, x, x, x, Ken Craigie, all others unknown.

Pen pictures

Elsie Carrington – An ETTA Vice-President in 1979 and Hampshire County TTA Life Member. Despite playing in nine World Championships, 11 English Opens, one European Championships and becoming a National Champion, Elsie never represented her country. A late starter to the game at 27 years old, Elsie went on to help husband, Jack, with much of his coaching work at home and abroad as well as being a class player, coach and organiser in her own right. Jack taught Elsie to play each stroke perfectly so she could act as a demonstrator at coaching sessions. Possible the first buy one, get one free, as Elsie used to accompany Jack at her own expense so the ETTA got two for the price of one. 1950 was Elsie’s most successful year at World Championships, where she reached the quarter-finals in the Women’s Doubles. An admitted better doubles than singles player, Elsie got to the Women’s Doubles quarter-finals at the English Open in 1952 (Doreen Spooner), 1953 and 1955 (Barbara Milbank), and 1957 (C Rougagnou of France). At Mixed Doubles, a further quarter-final place was gained with J Stanek of Czechoslovakia.

At the National Championships, Elsie won two gold medals in the Women’s Doubles, with Jean McCree in September 1960 and Jackie Canham/Billington in 1968, and was semi-finalist in January 1960 with Jean McCree and 1964 and 1967 with Jackie Canham/Billington. Elsie also reached the Mixed Doubles semi-finals in September 1960 with Bryan Merrett and 1963 with Stan Jacobson. A world title came Elsie’s way in 1990 when she became the World Over-70s Women’s Singles Veteran’s champion at Baltimore, USA.

Bill Vint, OBE – A plethora of positions and honours and awards from one of the most well respected and hardworking officers of table tennis nationally and internationally. Honours and awards include ETTA President 1970-1978, ETTA Honorary Life Vice-President, ETTA Honorary Life Member 1956, ETTA Vice-President 1985, OBE 1957. ITTF Hall of Fame 1997. ETTA Chairman, Treasurer and General Secretary. ETTA Executive Committee League Representative (Hastings). Hastings & District TTA Chairman. ITTF: General Secretary (1967 +), Treasurer (1947-1969), Standing Orders Committee Chairman (1951+), Membership Committee Chairman (1967+). Bill also was Non-Playing Captain for England in 1937/38 against France.


Jack Carrington – The architect of coaching schemes at home and abroad. Jack was the mastermind behind the highly successful Proficiency Award Scheme. Jack’s star pupil was World Champion Johnny Leach, who he partnered very successfully on many occasions. As well as setting up the coaching scheme in England Jack, with wife Elsie, travelled abroad to help other countries – Sweden, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Originally working in an Honorary position as Director of Coaching, Jack became the first professional Director of Coaching. He was also on the ETTA Senior and Junior Selection Committees and served as ITTF Publicity and Propaganda Commission Chairman. Some other positions held: European Championships Honorary Organiser 1966, President of English Schools Table Tennis Association, Editor for four years of ‘Table Tennis’, also writing for ‘Table Tennis Review’. London Business Houses ASA Table Tennis Section – Unilever TTC Secretary 1935-1938+. Author of several coaching books.

On the playing front, Jack was an England International and played in seven World Championships, reaching the quarter-finals in the Men’s Singles in 1947. With Johnny Leach in 1947, Jack was runner-up in the Men’s Doubles and reached the semi-finals in 1951, again with Johnny. Jack played in English Opens both pre and post-war and won a gold medal with Johnny Leach in the Men’s Doubles in November 1950, was runner-up in 1949 and March 1950 and semi-finalist in November 1947 and 1952. Mixed Doubles quarter-finals were reached in March 1947 with Irene Lentl and November 1947 with Molly Jones.

Jack left behind a lasting coaching legacy to English table tennis.

Godfrey Decker – One of the early players and administrators of table tennis in England. Godfrey played in the first England international match in 1923 versus Wales, winning all his eight singles matches. He played in the first World Championships in 1926 and several English Opens between 1923 and 1932, reaching the quarter-finals in the Men’s Singles in 1923. However, Godfrey was perhaps best known for his wizardry with equipment and lighting, pioneering many innovations and working at five World Championships and 23 England Championships (English Opens).

Godfrey was the Table Tennis Association Honorary General Secretary 1924/25 and ETTA Honorary General Secretary 1932/33. He was also the St Bride (All England) TT Club Assistant Secretary from 1922-1924 and its President. Another role was ETTA Representative for Directly Affiliated Clubs from 1927-1929. In 1956 Godfrey Decker was made an Honorary Life Member of the ETTA, an honour richly deserved.

Ken Craigie – An England International who won a team bronze medal in the World Championships in 1954, also reaching the quarter-finals that year in the Men’s Doubles with Alan Rhodes. Other appearances at the Worlds were in 1948 and 1951. Ken was a regular at English Opens from 1947-1961 and was a Men’s Singles semi-finalist in April 1953 as well as Mixed Doubles semi-finalist with Jill Rook at those Championships. Despite being in his 30s when the National Championships were first held Ken, along with Harry Venner, got to the semi-finals of the Men’s Doubles in January 1960.

Photo 3

Venue: Lilleshall, National Sports Centre.
Date: 1-5th January 1974.
Occasion: Coaches Refresher Course.
Copyright: Roger Price, Newport, Shropshire.
Back row: Raymond Turner (Kent & IoW), x,x,x,x, Dennis Worrell (ESTTA, Lincs)
Middle row: Rev Bill Wilby, x,x,x, Graham Frankel (E), x,x
Front row: Keith Baker (Portsmouth), Jim West (Horsham), x,x,x, John O’Sullivan (Liverpool), Peter Hirst, Mike Lewis (Avon).

Pen picture

Mike Lewis – An ETTA Honorary Life Member awarded in 1997, an ETTA Vice-President in 1993. Mike received the Malcolm Scott Award in 1992 for his work in setting up the Regional Development Committees and on the new Focus Sport programme. Mike held many positions in the ETTA, including Vice-Chairman (Development), SW Region Coaching Chairman (1979-1987), SW Development Chairman (1981-1990), National Councillor for Avon (1980-1991), Women’s and Veteran’s British League Committee Chairman and Organiser from 1988 for many years. He was Woolwich Junior British League Organiser and one of the founder members of Avon County TTA as well as being General Secretary, Umpires Secretary and Coaching Officer. Mike was a County Umpire and also a Senior Coach and Assessor. He joined Bristol TTA in 1948 and was an Executive Member for more than 20 years.

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Diane Webb
October 10, 2014