History of the Leopards

Why are we the Leopards?

The story of the Leopards dates back to the early days of the English Table Tennis Association (ETTA) in 1937/38, when the King agreed to become Patron of the Association.

The ETTA crest, which had previously featured a rose, was changed to three lions in a passant guardant position – that is to say walking, with heads turned to face out of the crest.

This is a familiar symbol of England, but not many people know that in British and French heraldry, a lion passant guardant was historically referred to as a leopard – so the ETTA crest was called the three leopards.

Although the practice of lions passant guardant being called leopards has largely disappeared from British heraldry (hence the England football team being known as the three lions), table tennis has always stuck with the tradition.

When the ETTA became Table Tennis England in 2014, we wanted to ensure this important part of our heritage was upheld and enhanced.

We have therefore launched the #BackTheLeopards campaign to raise awareness of our England teams and their unique place in the country’s sporting landscape.

So join us, show your support and #BackTheLeopards!

English Major Senior Titles

Men’s Singles

Year Player Event Location
2014 Paul Drinkhall ITTF Pro Tour Spanish Open Almeria
2001 Matthew Syed Commonwealth Championships New Delhi
2000 Matthew Syed Commonwealth Championships Singapore
1997 Matthew Syed Commonwealth Championships Glasgow
1996 Carl Prean ITTF Pro Tour Brazil Open Rio de Janeiro
1989 Alan Cooke Commonwealth Championships Cardiff
1987 Desmond Douglas European Master Top 12 Basel
1985 Desmond Douglas Commonwealth Championships Douglas
1984 Desmond Douglas English Open
1980 Desmond Douglas English Open
1980 John Hilton European Championship Berne
1975 Trevor Taylor Commonwealth Championships Melbourne
1973 Trevor Taylor Commonwealth Championships Cardiff
1971 Trevor Taylor Commonwealth Championships COMW
1960 Ian Harrison English Open
1954 Richard Bergmann English Open
1952 Richard Bergmann English Open
1951 Johnny Leach World Championships Vienna
1950 Richard Bergmann English Open
1950 Richard Bergmann World Championships Budapest
1949 Johnny Leach World Championships Stockholm
1948 Richard Bergmann English Open
1948 Richard Bergmann World Championships Wembley
1939 Richard Bergmann World Championships Cairo
1929 Fred Perry World Championships Budapest
1924 Percival Bromfield English Open
1923 Mike Cohen English Open
1922 Andrew Donaldson English Open

Women’s Singles

Year Winner Runner-Up Event Location
1996 Lisa Lomas-Bellinger ITTF Pro Tour Brazil Open Rio de Janeiro
1992 Lisa Lomas-Bellinger European Championships Stuttgart
1985 Karen Witt Commonwealth Championships Douglas
1982 Carole Knight Alison Gordon Commonwealth Championships Bombay
1982 Jill Hammersley European Championships Budapest
1982 Jill Hammersley European Master Top 12 Nantes
1981 Jill Hammersley European Master Top 12 Prague
1980 Jill Hammersley European Master Top 12 Prague
1979 Carole Knight Commonwealth Championships Edinburgh
1978 Jill Hammersley European Master Top 12 Prague
1978 Jill Hammersley European Championships Dulsburg
1977 Jill Hammersley European Master Top 12 Sarajevo
1976 Jill Hammersley European Championships Prague
1975 Jill Hammersley Linda Jarvis-Howard Commonwealth Championships Melbourne
1973 Jill Hammersley Karenza Matthews-Smith Commonwealth Championships Cardiff
1971 Jill Hammersley Karenza Matthews-Smith Commonwealth Championships COMW
1958 Ann Haydon European Championships Budapest
1957 Ann Haydon World Championships Stockholm
1948 Vera Thomas-Dace World Championships Wembley
1947 Elizabeth Blackbourn World Championships Paris

Team Events

Year Position Team Event Location
2016 Bronze Men World Team Championships Kuala Lumpur
2002  Gold Men  Commonwealth Games Manchester