It is with regret that we have to record the passing of Tony Brotchie, Life Vice-President of the Cambridge & District TT League, on 20th February, aged 89. No-one in the history of the League gave more years of service, and he will be irreplaceable.
His playing career in the Cambridge League started as a member of the Fire Service Team in 1950 and continued to 1983, with a short break of 4 years when he played for Shire Hall. In 1983 he joined St Georges and continued to play for them until 2000. He was League Secretary (which then included the equivalent of the post of the current Competitions Secretary) from 1961-65 and from 1969-1987. All the work he did as League Secretary was done by hand (as Martyn Livermore reminds us) and when he stepped down from that role he was elected President of the League. For the next 17 years he would Chair the League’s AGM, giving his personal summary of the season just finished, and his thoughts for the future. Many of the current membership will, perhaps, only have seen Tony at these AGMs, but they may also recall that at the end of each AGM he would present the trophy, which he had donated to the League in 2000, to the person who in the opinion of the Executive Committee had furthered the playing of table-tennis in the catchment area of the League. Tony would invariably provide a personal anecdote about the recipient, as he would also be able to do when receiving the news that former members of the League had sadly passed away. His memory was staggering. His wisdom, common sense and ability to see fair play could be relied upon at all times.
In 1983 Tony received the ETTA Merit Award in recognition of his length of service to the League. When he retired from the post of President in 2005 the League nominated him as Life Vice-President, and at that year’s AGM Tony was presented with an engraved glass bowl (photo attached).
Tony was a real gentleman, always polite, patient and thoughtful. We were lucky to have had him at our helm for so long.
The following tributes have been received:
From Ken Muhr
I am sad to learn this. As with John Cornwell, I haven't met Tony for over 40 years. I do remember him as being very hospitable at the Fire Station, and in the short time I was on the Cambridge League Committee in the late 60's/early 70's, I found him polite, authoritative and very well organised/on top of his job. Very few members of the then League Committee are now left. Many people in Cambridge table tennis will have known Tony more recently and better, and I sympathise with you all in your loss.
From Keith Richardson
Very sad to hear. A great ambassador of table tennis for the region for many many years and a real gentleman gent. Will be greatly missed by so many. Rest in peace Tony.
From Dave Harrison
What can I say? Very sorry, he'll be much missed.
From Tony Littlechild
Very sorry to get this sad news.
From Ruth Puddick
“A patient man who handled the job of Match Secretary with calmness and humour. One could safely turn up at his house, with several rather out of date dog eared match cards which had been found at the bottom of one’s bag and be safe in the knowledge that he would take them without too much of a fuss. Tony was a good solid player who played for the love of the game and he was someone who was gracious in defeat. It was always a great fixture at the Fire Brigade, because Tony and his team looked after visiting teams so well. I remember my first game there and Tony saying that if a bell went off, they would have to leave, but would be back in due course. Sure enough, I was in the middle of a game, went to pick up a ball which had been smashed past me, I heard a bell and when I looked up the Team including Tony had gone.
Tony would have loved that anecdote about himself !