News Release - BSMTTC News 66
Dateline: 07 September 2017
“So long, farewell, auf wiedersen, adieu…..”
Having played table tennis in the Liverpool League for 55 years long standing club member Ricky Brown, now aged 73, has decided to hang up his bat and, along with his wife June, move to the Isle of Man, where his son, Neil, lives.
Successful Team Player
We are really sorry to see Ricky go, especially straight after such a successful final season in 2016/17 when he captained the Bath Street Marine A team to title glory in Division 2 of the L&DTTL. It is no surprise to know that in such a long table tennis career Ricky has won many titles. In the L&DTTL Ricky has won, 1st, 2nd and 3rd division cups and has also represented Liverpool & Southport in the Lancashire & Cheshire League. In fact, in packing up his home ready for the move to the Isle of Man no fewer than 198 trophies have been uncovered! Including 2 for boxing!
Above Ricky Brown, looking a little solemn! And aside with his A Team members Ian McElwee and Fred Bainbridge with the Division 2 Trophy won for the 2016/17 season in which Ricky captained the team for the first time.
From Maghull to Marine!
Ricky first played table tennis at the Maghull Co-Op Youth Club, which joined the L&DTTL in 1961 when Ricky was just 17. He started off in Division 8 out of 12 divisions. In that first season Ricky recalls perhaps his funniest moment in table tennis when, in a match against Colonsay, a player, named Chris Humphries, crashed through glass double doors trying to retrieve a shot. Luckily, he was not injured, but the glass shattered everywhere!
Ricky learned to play table tennis in a bowling club on a three-quarter size table. And as a tip to new players he says, “always try to play against better players during practice, and also try and experience different styles of play in order to develop the ability to adjust your game”. A good tip, as many nowadays are all taught the same way and as a result can’t adjust their game when things are not going their way!
Ricky is definitely somewhere in this school photo! He started playing table tennis as a teenager and has continued ever since. His love of sport being a large part of his life.
Man of wide interests
Outside of table tennis, Ricky has other sporting interests. As well as being a staunch Evertonian he enjoys and has a good knowledge of professional boxing. A regular darts player, Ricky boasts of having once achieved a 7 dart 301 finish. He also once played against Tony Knowles in an exhibition snooker match and only lost by 13 points!
In table tennis Ricky has played against many top players and says that some of the best have been, Tony O’Connor, John McNee, Gordon Birch, Kevin Dolder and Andrew Eden. And along the way Ricky has notched up some notable wins; like beating Peter Darcy in the Readman Cup Final – Ricky says, “we lost 9:1 having been 1:0 up”! Other notable wins included a 26:24 third set win against Eric Hardman in the Southport Closed Final in 1976 (when matches were the best of 3 games played up to 21); A win over fellow Bath St club Member, Dave Roberts, in the Southport Vets Final in 2007, and a win over one of the great players, Gordon Birch, in his last ever Liverpool League match.
With the highs, there also were lows! Ricky recalls that his worst defeat was against a player called Marcus Dick 21:8, 21:1; “I’d actually beaten him earlier that season” recalls Ricky, “and fancied my chances. Marcus went on to win the Liverpool Closed Championships that year”. Ricky’s fellow Bath Street team captain, Brian Crolley, is recorded as having said, “the best player to watch is Ricky Brown, he is still a very good player, but in his day he was excellent. Always a competitor, never ever gave in to anybody”.
Over the years Ricky has played with a number of different teams. the pictures below show a selection! You'll hardly recognise the young Ricky in some!! Maybe there are other people that you recognise from the past though in this selection.......
All the best Ricky
Paul Gittins of Merseyside Police says that, as a young beginner he attended Trinity Table Tennis Club for practice. He says none of the better players bothered with him, however Ricky befriended him, made him feel at home and often fed him on the table tennis table to help him improve. Although 35 years ago, Paul still remembers well the help, patience and kindness Ricky gave. Just one example of the kind of person Ricky is.
Ricky says that he has no particular table tennis heroes, but he admires all who are enthusiastic, reliable and win or lose with the same grace and style. He also expresses a strong appreciation of those who give their time and energy to run leagues and clubs on behalf of all players.
We wish Ricky all the very best as he moves ‘abroad’. There are a few pictures old and new with this article. Maybe you will recognise a few faces……