Table Tennis England’s oldest surviving Vice-President, Ray Yates, died recently at the age of 95.

Mr Yates was made a Vice-President in 1991, having previously been presented with the Leslie Forrest Memorial Trophy in 1986.

Born in Sussex, he served as Chairman and President of both the Southampton TTA and the Hampshire TTA in a long career in the sport.

He was also a County Umpire and was non-playing captain of the Hampshire senior team and manager of the county’s veteran team over many years.

He held the office of Chairman of the ETTA’s Southern Region Development committee from 1981 to 1993.

Mr Yates began playing as a boy soldier in the years before the Second World War and, having received severe leg wounds during the conflict, table tennis became a passion after the war as outdoor sports were not possible.

He played for Bitterne Park TTC in Southampton and also for Hursley TTC in the Winchester League and remembered being present at the 1954 World Championships at Wembley.

In retirement, he coached table tennis in local schools and also did a lot of research into the origins of table tennis and its transition from pastime to fully-fledged sport, helped by the development of celluloid balls and racket coverings.

Mr Yates died on March 21st, a few days before his 96th birthday.