Many thanks to Steve Horton for allowing us to reproduce this from his Facebook page.
I post a positive challenge for Vetts Table Tennis players who want to do this.
Contact another player - particularly in the next age category, find out and post a profile and their achievements. Find out about their best wins in a tournament, any titles won, their most memorable matches etc and future aspirations.
I give you Peter Radford - a very wise, knowledgeable member of our tt community - always there to offer words of wisdom when needed and respected by everyone. Its Peter's 77th Birthday today so this is a fitting tribute.
In the VETTS Peter only played 2 Tournaments in the Over 40’s.
The 2 VETTS tournaments he played in were the Nationals of 1986 and 1987. In the 1986 he reached the semi final of the Over 40’s and lost to Derek Schofield who won it. In the 1987 he went a step further to become Over 40’s National Champion.
Peter didn’t play any further VETTS tournaments until he was 63 years old because he was taking his daughter Linda around the country for her TT events, Junior and Senior. She eventually became England Junior ranked number1 and number 3 Senior.
In Peter's first tournament back he reached the Over 60’s final which he lost to number 1 seed Brian Hill.
He also reached the semi final of the Over 50’s and lost 13-11 in the fifth. That was some comeback after a lengthy break of approximately 20 years
Peter didn't play 2009/2010 season as he had cancer problems.
Nationals May 1988 Over 40’s singles
Southern Feb 2007 Over 60’s singles
Midland Oct 2007 Over 50’s singles (aged 64)
Midland Oct 2012 Over 60’s singles
Nationals May 2013 Over 70’s singles
Midland Oct 2013 Over 70’s singles
Eastern Nov 2013 Over 70’s singles
Midland Oct 2014 Over 70’s singles
Western Jan 2016 Over 70’s singles
Western Apr 2016 Over 70’s singles
Nationals May 2016 Over 70’s singles
Southern Feb 2017 Over 60’s singles (aged 74)
Western Apr 2017 Over 70’s singles
Eastern Apr 2108 Over 70’s singles
Six Nations Sept 2017 Over 70’s singles
The most memorable tournament was the Midlands of October 2007, He played 23 matches over the weekend, 9 on the Saturday and 14 on the Sunday (QTRs over 40s (4) semi over 60s (4) and the over 50s (6) finishing with, on the last match of the night, a win in the Over 50’s final against Brian Johns 3 in the fifth.
From his Senior days he had one outstanding memory. In 1971 he won the Men’s Singles title in the Essex 3* Open (equivalent to today’s grand prix events), beating the England Numbers 7, 4, and 2 en route.
Peter has never played in a European Vetts event or Worlds so this might be on his future radar.
Peter is a very modest man who should be very proud of these achievements. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
...and below are just a selection of the wonderful comments made!
- Lovely thread Steve - I played in the same side as Peter (Thornton’s Sports) when I first became a Vett. Lovely man and great to have in your corner for advice.
- I don't think I have ever played against a player with a better understanding of (and exploitation of) angles, a very clever player. I always have to cover ten times the ground he does, whatever the outcome!
- One of the nicest people you could meet and echo the sentiments as to how modest he is. Just an all round lovely guy.
- Peter’s a superb player with a very clever TT brain and tremendous tactical awareness. Great guy to have in your corner when sound advice is needed.
- He’s one of my favourite people in the world! Such a gentleman, such a tremendous player and a tremendous reader of the game. Always been so encouraging of me, and a true legend!
- I'd echo all that's been said about Peter, but not many people will know that he was also a talented cricketer. He was an opening batsman for MCC under 18's (?), and let's not forget who he is married too - the former England player Leslie Bell who was amongst the best players in Europe in the 1960's. Quite a family!!
- Amazing player, amazing role model and so unassuming with it...to the point that I’m sure many of us never realised the extent of Peters table tennis successes and exploits!
- Wow, these posts 😍🤩 My superstar dad !!