It is with great sadness that I have to report the death of our President, Ray Lydall.
Ray had been a great servant to table tennis, both club and county. At club level I can remember him playing for North Shields YMCA in the lower divisions in the 1980s and not only playing but also looking after whichever team he played for. Indeed I played on the same team as Ray for two or three years and know first hand how dedicated he was and also that he was a perfect gentleman both on and off the table.
He continued to play for the YMCA until two or three years ago and although not playing after that he still took a great interest in the YM teams and their performances. In 2005 he started to help the late Alan Morpeth with the running of the teams and on the secretarial side of things and in 2006/7 became secretary of the club, a position he held until fairly recently.
In 2005 Ray was appointed a director of Northumberland Table Tennis, a position he took very seriously and he was noted for insisting that everything was always done in the correct way.
Three years later he was elected President of the County, a position which he filled with great enthusiasm and he always wanted to be as actively involved as possible. When he found, as recently as July this year, that he was unable to be as active as he would have liked he asked that the members give consideration to appointing someone else. When they unanimously decided that he should have the honour of continuing in office and I informed him of this he immediately wrote to thank me and he stated that he greatly appreciated it.
In 2014 Ray was honoured by North Tyneside Council with an award for his work in the community for table tennis.
He will be greatly missed and our thoughts go out to his widow, Margaret.
Author: Dale Aitkenhead via Northumbria Table Tennis League