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County News

John Burtenshaw (1933-2020)

John Burtenshaw, Late South West Region Chairman.


Sad news to share with all county players and members who knew John Burtenshaw.


Following a long period of poor health and illness John passed away yesterday, June 9th, aged 87. It had been his birthday just last Tuesday. He'd had prostate cancer towards the end of last year and although his operation was thought successful he'd had to go back to hospital with sepsis.


Ann Sandford from the Weston league reported seeing John at a Christmas function in December where he had lost a lot of weight and wasn’t feeling at all well. He was back in hospital in May and it was feared the cancer had returned.


John had a lifelong love of table tennis; he originally came from Kent and every year since moving to Somerset still received a handbook from his old Kent club.


John was deeply involved in the sport he loved. When the Weston league started in 1977 John soon became an active member, including a spell as Chairman, and until recently still served on the committee. He represented Somerset as the county's National Councillor at Table Tennis England and for some years was also Chairman of Table Tennis England South West Region. He was very much a committee man but also played in the Weston league running a team for a while.


We will pass on details of the funeral arrangements once we know.




Image & the report taken from the TTE Website.

Sophie Storey

Young Volunteer of the Year Sophie Storey receives her award from Table Tennis England Chairman Sandra Deaton (picture by Alan Man)


Volunteers take Pride of place at Nationals; TTE Awards; 2019-20


Author: Paul Stimpson; Publish date: March 2, 2020


Volunteers shared centre stage with national champions as the Pride of Table Tennis Awards winners were presented on Finals Day at the Mark Bates Ltd National Championships.


The shortlisted nominees in both the Volunteer and Young Volunteer of the Year categories were given VIP treatment at the Nationals and the winners were announced in front of hundreds of spectators.


First up were the nominees for the Young Volunteer of the Year, which recognises a volunteer under the age of 25 who has made a significant impact within a club or league in the past 12 months.


The award went to Sophie Storey, who was nominated by Neil Hardisty for her commitment to table tennis in the Weymouth & District area, where she has made a significant contribution to encourage people to play table tennis, most notably being an important member of the ‘This Girl Can’ sessions and organising the inaugural youth presentations for Weymouth & District League.


The runners-up were Vishaal Sharda from Knighton Park TTC in Leicester and a trio of youngsters from Wensum TTC in Norwich – Ed Horton, Kelsey Fordham & Ella Barnard.


Sophie, Vishaal and Ed were also presented with their certificates for reaching 50 hours of volunteering under our Young Ambassador programme.



Welsh National Championships




John Hook, Over 60's Winner

Owen Clutterbuck & John Hook; Vets Doubles winners with Runners ups



John Hook. Dorset Vets Team Secretary


John played in the Vets for Dorset on Saturday, then drove to Cardiff to play in the Welsh National Championships where he won the over 60’s individual and the Vets Doubles with Owen Clutterbuck.

John Hook won the Over 60 singles defeating Ray Goulding in the final. Congratulations John on being Welsh Champion 2020.

Vets Doubles – Owen Clutterbuck & John Hook


Les Whittaker


It is with regret that I have been informed of the death of Les Whittaker, circumstances as of yet unknown to me.


Les was a very faithful servant, comrade & friend to Table Tennis within the Dorset County set up for many Years, & on behalf the Dorset County Association, I would like to extend my Sincere Sympathies to all his Family.


From David Beverley, Dorset TTA, Chair & Treasurer.



Obituary: Les Whittaker, former National Councillor


Author: Paul Stimpson; TTE. Publish date: January 13, 2020


Les Whittaker, former National Councillor for Dorset, has died after a battle with motor neurone disease. He was 73.


National Councillor for Dorset from 2012 to 2017, Les was also a member of the South West Regional Committee. As a player, he most notably played in the Blackmoor Vale League up to 2018.


Rod Fry, Chairman of his club, Compton Abbas TTC, said: “Les joined the league in about 1998 initially playing for the Child Okeford club but from 2002 he played at the Compton Abbas club where he soon became an integral member of the club. Sadly because of problems with his shoulder, he was unable to play at all in the 2018/19 season and as his condition became worse he was eventually diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease.


“It is no secret that Les unquestionably lived for playing table tennis and competed in three different leagues, the Blackmore Vale League, the Wimborne League and at times in the Salisbury League. In addition, as if that was not enough, he would travel far and wide to play in the English Veterans tournaments both in this country and abroad.


“His enthusiasm for the sport did not limit him to just playing but also getting heavily involved in committee work within the Blackmore Vale and Wimborne leagues, the Dorset Table Tennis Association and acting as National Councillor for Dorset within the English Table Tennis Association (now Table Tennis England). 

“He also had two spells as Chairman of the Blackmore Vale League, served as its Secretary for a time and was also its Vice President.


“Les was always very open and approachable off the table and extremely willing to offer advice should any club or player need help with any issue. On the table, he was a very enthusiastic player and, winning or losing, he always had a complimentary word to say to his opponent.


“It is to his credit that once diagnosed with the debilitating problem of MND, Les managed to maintain a cheerful and irrepressible persona throughout the months of his illness. When visiting him, he was always cheerful and pleased to hear about how the leagues were faring, which clubs were doing well or badly and who was winning what. Such was his level of interest, even though he knew he could no longer be a part of it.


“He received many visitors both in the Poole Hospital and latterly at the Forest Hill House nursing home for which he was very grateful as it made him still feel part of the sport he loved. As a league, we will not only miss his enthusiasm and knowledge but also for being the gentleman that he was.”


David Beverley, Chair and Treasurer of Dorset TTA, added: “Les was also a very good friend of the now recently departed David Turner. I always had a good relationship with Les, both in competitive matches and in committee levels, and it is hard to lose two such good friends in such quick circumstances so close together at this time of the year.”


The Funeral will take place at, Harbour View Crematorium, Lytchett Minster, Poole on Friday 24th January at 11.30am.




Dave Turner


It is with regret that I have been informed of the death of Dave Turner, whilst in attendance at a National Councilors Meeting over the weekend of 14th/15th December @ TTE Headquarters, Milton Keynes


Dave was a very faithful servant, comrade & friend to Table Tennis within the Bournemouth; Dorset & Hampshire Counties for many Years, & on behalf the Dorset County Association, I would like to extend my Sincere Sympathies to all his Family.


For any information Please Contact either of the following; Gordon White (BMTH League Secretary) ; Phil Hadley (BMTH Chair)


From David Beverley, Dorset TTA, Chair & Treasurer.



Obituary: David Turner, National Councillor


Author: Paul Stimpson; Publish date: December 16, 2019


The following taken from TTE Website.


Tributes have been paid to Hampshire National Councillor David Turner, who has died suddenly at the age of 79.


David, also Chairman of the Southern Region, had attended a meeting of Regional Chair at the Table Tennis England offices in Milton Keynes on Friday and was due to attend the National Council meeting on Saturday. However, he very sadly passed away on Friday evening.


avid had been a member of the Bournemouth & District Table Tennis Association for some 60 years and started serving in the league in 1974, holding a number of positions including Chairman, Secretary, Tournament Secretary and, more recently, Vice Chairman, President and Life Vice President.


He was the Chairman of the Hampshire Table Tennis Association and over the past decade he was also Chairman of the Table Tennis England Southern Region, a role which he at one point combined with South East Regional Chair when the necessity arose.


In 2001, he was given the Maurice Goldstein Award for his services to table tennis.


National Council Chairman Estyn Williams said: “Dave served National Council for quite a long period and gave great service in Hampshire and to the table tennis family. We send our sincere condolences to his wife and family.”


Table Tennis England Board member Charlie Childs, who had known Dave for many years, said: “Dave Turner was one of those folk who simply volunteered in the sport that he loved. When others failed to step up to the plate Dave was always there – ready and willing to take on the role.


“Apart from playing regularly when he was younger, only curtailed by disability, he has held numerous voluntary positions in our sport. Dave was simply one of those folk who loved to help and will be sadly missed in our sport.”


The funeral will take place at Bournemouth Crematorium, Charminster, Thursday January 16th at 2pm.