Obituary: Bob Stannard

Diane Webb

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It is with much sadness that we learnt that Bob Stannard died on Friday, October 30 at his home in Hayes, Middlesex after a long illness.

Bob, the husband of Doreen, Honorary Life Member and Past President of Table Tennis England, first became involved in table tennis in the late 1950s. At that time, Bob and Doreen were working at Eastman’s Dyers & Cleaners in Middlesex and it was agreed that a social club would be set up and the idea was put forward that a table tennis section be incorporated.

After a couple of years of social table tennis the club joined the North Acton League which at the time comprised of Business Houses of which top referee, John Wright was the Secretary. It wasn’t long before Bob became a committee member of the league and after a couple of years he was asked to organise the Inter-League Competition but he said that the person they wanted wasn’t him but his wife, Doreen.

Doreen agreed but on saying she didn’t know the rules, John put her through the County Umpires test and so began one of the most outstanding careers and immense presences in table tennis for 60 years, which still continues today.

Bob remained in the background for most of this time but welcomed all who came to the many Middlesex County meetings which were held at their house.

An excellent sportsman in many fields, Bob’s main sport was swimming and he was also an excellent footballer, keeping goal until he broke some fingers. He remained true to Brentford FC throughout his life.

In fact, it was football that brought Bob and Doreen together. Their mums both worked at Eastman’s and Bob’s mum asked Doreen’s mum, who was a great knitter, if she would knit a goalkeeper’s jumper for Bob. However, by the time it was finished Bob’s mum had left the company and so it was arranged for Bob and Doreen to meet at the work’s gates to hand over the parcel – and as they say, the rest is history.

A great supporter of Doreen in all her various roles, Bob will be missed by all who knew him. Our most sincere condolences to Doreen.

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