Colin Dyke in action (picture by Mike Rhodes)

Obituary: Colin Dyke, Kingfisher’s guiding light

Paul Stimpson

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Please note - this news article was published more than three years ago. Some of the information contained may no longer be correct.

Colin Dyke, who co-founded the Kingfisher club in Reading and helped to build the club’s new centre from ground level, has died at the age of 82

Colin was Kingfisher through and through, having helped drive its formation through the merger between Woodley TTC and Omega TTC.

He went on to hold various roles, including Secretary (1987-98), Treasurer (1998-2009) and Chairman (2009 to date).

He was also one of the small group of volunteers who physically built the current clubhouse, a four-table, 24/7 venue which opened in 2014.

Kingfisher President Peter Charters said of Colin: “It’s not enough to say he made the club tick because he did so much – he was really the backbone of Kingfisher since its inception.

“His love of table tennis and his passion for the club he helped build is his legacy.

“He’s a massive loss for us and we’ll struggle to fill the gap he has left. He was a nice guy and a strong person and we’ll always be indebted for what he did for table tennis and for Kingfisher.”

Colin helps with work at the new Kingfisher clubhouse, which opened in 2014
With guests including Matthew Syed at the clubhouse opening (picture by John Upham)

Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Maria Tsaptsinos also paid her tribute, saying: “I’ve known Colin ever since I started playing Table Tennis at Kingfisher. He was a friendly face who was always keen to know what I was up to and enjoyed my successes alongside me.

“He contributed greatly to Kingfisher and it will be a sad loss for the club and everyone who knew him. My thoughts are with his family.”

Olympian Matthew Syed, whose formative years were spent with Kingfisher, posted his tribute on social media, as seen below.

In a wider context, Colin was Treasurer for Reading & District TTA for around 10 years, and also held the posts of Divisional Secretary and Development Officer.

He was Berkshire County Treasurer and a National Councillor until 2017 and was a regular contributor to the Table Tennis News magazine for many years.

He had previously held several roles in North West Kent TTL, dating back to 1954.

Colin became a Table Tennis England Vice-President in 2016 and was an advisor on clubs to the organisation.

Colin is presented with the Unsung Hero Award by Peter Charters at the 2013 Volunteer Awards (picture by Steve Parkin)

On the table, Colin played in the Reading and Bracknell & Wokingham Leagues and was also a regular on the VETTS circuit at home and abroad and won a bronze medal at the European Veterans’ Tournament in the Czech Republic in 2013, alongside Brian Bickell in the O75 Doubles.

His close friend Peter Bradley, a Table Tennis England Honorary Life Member and the Company Member for the Reading League, said: “Colin was a great friend, county team-mate and determined opponent on the table. To me he was Mr Kingfisher and will be sadly missed by all in the Reading League.”

Colin is survived by his wife, Marion and three children, Stephen, Tracey and Andrew.

The funeral will be on Friday, August 3, at 2.30pm at South Chapel, Reading Crematorium, All Hallow Road, Caversham, RG4 5LP Details of the wake are to be confirmed. Olga and Brian Bickell are helping the family with arrangements and have asked if anyone from the table tennis community wants to attend, could they please let them know on [email protected] so they can give the family an idea of numbers.

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