On home soil for this week’s photos which show all the Men’s Singles National Champions from 1960 when the first competition first ran and the tournament was known as the English “Closed” Championships. Originally blocked by Ivor Montagu on the basis that if England’s players could not win the English Open they did not deserve to have their own National Championships, this view was eventually overcome.

In the first Championships, the qualifying rounds were held at Greenwich Baths with the finals at the Royal Albert Hall. There were five events: Men’s Singles, Women’s Singles, Men’s Doubles, Women’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles. The players below are listed in chronological order from the date of their first title.

This is then followed by a brief history of the Guernsey trophy which was used for the Men’s Singles title from 1973 onwards.

A lot of original photos are missing, so if anyone has any that they can let us have that would be much appreciated. Contact me on [email protected] if you can help.

Bryan Merrett (1959/60)

Merrett_Bryan, MS Nat Champ


Ian Harrison (1960/61, 1966/67)

Harrison_Ian MS Nat Champion Sept 1960


Robert (Bobby) Stevens (1961/62)

Stevens_Bobby of Essex. Photo Peter Madge.

Bobby has been the only unseeded player to win the title.


Chester Barnes (1962/63, 1963/64, 1964/65, 1970/71, 1973/74)

Barnes_Chester 1.Barnes_Chester MS Nat Champion 1964


Denis Neale (1965/66, 1967/68, 1968/69, 1969/70, 1974/75, 1976/77)

Neale_Denis. Feb 1977. Photo Allan Batchelor.


Trevor Taylor (1971/72, 1972/73)

Taylor_Trevor with John McDonnell of the Norwich Union, sponsors of Nat Champs 1973-84.

Trevor is pictured with John McDonnell of sponsors Norwich Union.


Desmond Douglas (1975/76, 1978/79, 1979/80, 1980/81, 1981/82, 1982/83, 1983/84, 1984/85, 1985/86, 1986/87, 1989/90)

Douglas_Des with English National Championships Trophy.


Paul Day (1977/78)

Day_Paul with Maurice Goldstein, President. 19 Feb 1978. Photo Allan Batchelor.

Paul is pictured with ETTA president Maurice Goldstein.


Alan Cooke (1987/88, 1988/89, 1995/96, 2002/03, 2003/04, 2004/05)

Cooke_Alan NC 2005


Carl Prean (1990/91, 1992/93, 1994/95)

Prean_Carl. Front cover April 1995.


Chen Xinhua (1991/92, 1993/94)

Xinhua_Chen MS Nat Champion


Matthew Syed (1996/97, 1997/98, 1999/2000, 2000/01)

Syed_Matthew - winner of English Senior Nationals.


Alex Perry (1998/99, 2005/06)

Alex Perry_TTE-PC01_1


Andrew Baggaley (2001/02, 2007/08, 2009/10)

Baggaley_Andrew 5


Paul Drinkhall (2006/07, 2008/09, 2010/11, 2011/12)

Drinkhall_Paul Nat Champ 2011


Liam Pitchford (2012/13, 2013/14, 2014/15)

ETTA Nationals Sheffield, Sunday 2nd March 2014 Liam Pitchford celebrates
ETTA Nationals Sheffield, Sunday 2nd March 2014
Liam Pitchford celebrates


The Guernsey Trophy

The Guernsey Trophy has been used as the Men’s Singles National Championships Trophy since 1973. It superseded the original trophy following the England team’s success at the Guernsey Table Tennis Association’s 50th Anniversary Tournament held in May 1972.

Eight teams competed for the solid silver trophy and the title of team champions. David Alderson, Karenza Mathews, Nicky Jarvis and Denis Neale, captained by Bryan Merrett, were the England team. The players comfortably won their group against Wales, Guernsey and the Netherlands before defeating Scotland in the first round of the play-offs 4-1. The final against West Germany’s team of Klaus Schmittinger, Gunter Kocher and Wiebke Hendrikson was another 4-1 victory.

Denis went on to complete a hat-trick of individual titles, the Men’s Singles, Men’s Doubles with Nicky Jarvis and the Mixed Doubles with Karenza Mathews. Karenza also won the Women’s Singles event. All in all a very successful and profitable tournament.

It was subsequently decided to use the trophy for the Men’s Singles champion of the National Championships, with Trevor Taylor being the first recipient in 1973. Denis Neale was the only player who helped win the trophy who actually held it as National Champion.

Guernsey Trophy