MARTIN MACHIN was the guy we where all proud to call a friend. I do not think l have ever heard Martin speak ill of anyone as he always looked for the best in everyone. He represented our club with wit, charm and charisma and made the club look more impressive than it actually was. We where all proud of him and knew that our clubs reputation was in safe hands. Not often that you find such a gem as Martin.
On the table we all loved to play him. The lesser players because he helped them and gave advice. He would also let them win more points than they deserved to make them feel better about their game and improve their confidence. To equal standard players you knew you were in for a fun game - loop smash, loop smash, loop smash, loop missed smash. "Well done" would be the words from Martin "three great smashes". He would turn away and smile to himself. You would feel like you had had your pockets picked. How could you feel bad about losing the point to such a nice fun guy? The better players would get to smash number six or more. You would pause your own game to watch the spectacle and watch the fun. Yes Fun because that is what Martin brought to the hall - Fun. I was always pleased when Martin appeared through the hall doors - a great game in prospect. How we will all miss that emotion at his arrival - irreplaceable.
I remember watching him in the singles final of the Wigan League last year. He played his trademark game. First set lost. We all thought he was going down. Not so. He continued with his game plan. He just stood back in typical style and let his opponent wear himself out smashing and smashing till he missed. The hall was truly engaged in the spectacle. 2/1 up in sets and his opponent looked beat. And so it passed a 3/1 victory and tittle to Martin. He enjoyed (or was it endured) a champagne celebration. What a star.
That star is now shining high in the night sky. Just look up at that sky tonight. Martin will be the brightest one there looking over us smiling and wishing us well. We are all going to miss you mate. You will always be in hearts and thoughts.
Rest in peace and smile upon us dear friend.