News Release - BSMTTC News 144
Dateline: 10 August 2022
It was with great sadness that the club announced on the 27 July that its President, Mr William Clayton, had passed away. Affectionately known as 'The Legend', Billy had been a member of the Bath Street club for some 60 years!
Bill celebrated his 90th birthday just a few short weeks ago, in April, at Marine. And although his mobility had become a little restricted, he seemed in very good spirits as he engaged with so many friends and wider family members who gathered for that occasion. You can find a record of his 90th birthday celebrations here.
Billy had 4 great loves in his life. His dear wife of more than 50 years, Sadie, whose passing affected Bill greatly, his beloved Everton FC, the Gunners - his favourite watering hole, and of course table tennis!
Bill's use of a pimples out table tennis bat foxed many a player and continued to do so until his mobility forced him to end his playing career just a few years ago. Over his years of playing and enjoying table tennis Bill was always so keen to encourage others. Joining the VETTS, Bill played all over the world taking part in international competitions. Despite that, he was never happier than when at his own club. He was well in his eighties before physical health forced him to stop playing competitive league table tennis. Whether it was his fellow team members or social players who came into Marine for a little 'bat & chat' Bill was always the great encourager. He made everyone feel welcome and at home, and always had a great story to tell.
The high regard in which Bill was held by all who knew him is evident from the tributes paid from far and wide when news of his passing was announced. More than 1,000 people reacted to that news. Perhaps one tribute, sums up what so many had to say, "a character, loved by everyone..... never forgotten".
There are few who can claim to be 'a legend' in their own lifetime, but there is no doubt that was true of Bill.
His funeral service will be held at St Peter's and St Paul's Church in Crosby on Wednesday 17 August, followed by cremation at Thornton Crematorium. Afterwards all are invited to celebrate his life at Marine FC, in College Road.
Below is just a small selection of pictures from Bill's more recent table tennis life. You will see from these how he loved to be with his many friends. Maybe you will recognize your face in some of these shots!