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2009-2010 Season > General League News > End of an Era - Doug Ayres
End of an Era - Doug Ayres
End of an Era - Doug Ayres
Spanning 29 years as President of the Bedford & District Table Tennis League and 60 years as a member of the Management Committee the retiring President, Doug Ayres, was presented with a crystal ship's decanter by the Chairman of the English Table Tennis Association, Alex Murdoch, at the £390,000 newly refurbished St Neots Table Tennis Club on Monday evening. His honorary post of President will be taken over by Bedford local property agent Russell Beard who has had a keen interest in table tennis since his school days. Click on this article's header to read more.


I first met Doug in about 1975, 35 years ago, but a little research has discovered that this is only part of Doug’s association with the Bedford League.

Doug started playing in the League in 1946 for Bedford Boys Club. He served on the tournament committee in 1949 and 1950, so must have been a very young committee member!

He was Vice Chairman from 1968 to 1973, then becoming Chairman, a post he held until 1979., at which point he became a Vice President.
In 1981, he became President, a role he has fulfilled ever since, 29 years in total!

These are just a few of the bare facts, what of the man himself. Oddly, I cannot remember actually playing against Doug myself, although I am sure we must have crossed bats at some stage. However, I have seen him play against many generations of up and coming youngsters from BMS, mainly in division 2, where he was always fiercely competitive, but always the perfect gentleman, whether in victory or defeat, always with a word of encouragement for his opponents. He played with Frank James and Harold Dynes for a number of years and I can remember a photo in the Beds Times of the 3 of them, holding a board with their total ages written on it. I seem to remember that the total was 200!!!!!

It is impossible to work out how many days, weeks, months or even years Doug has spent working for the League, but we all surely owe him our heartiest thanks for all his efforts.

Paul Birch - Chairman of Bedford & District Table Tennis League
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