Tony Ross

Obituary: Tony Ross, administrator and photographer

Diane Webb

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Prominent administrator and prolific photographer, Tony Ross, died on April 22 in Hull. Tony served on several ETTA committees including the Development Committee from 1975-89, and the Tournaments/Open Tournaments Committee 1971-80.

Tony was very interested in promoting table tennis and considerably raised its profile through his work on the Press & Publicity Committee 1978-79 and, following on from this, the PR Committee 1979-85. He was also a member of the Magazine Working Party and wrote Yorkshires County Notes for over a decade from 1971.

In recognition of his work he twice received the prestigious Ivor Montagu Award, in 1979 and 1983, the first person to be honoured twice. The latter citation reads “in recognition of his innovative contributions and his persistent advocacy of progressive ideas”.

Tournaments were another of Tony’s main areas of interest and he was one of the people behind the Hull & East Riding and Yorkshire Junior Opens, eventually handing over the reins to Richard and Brenda Hudson. He also was involved with the Humberside Open from 1972-75 as Secretary.

Many will know the name of Tony Ross while looking through copies of Table Tennis News as his images were featured widely for several years. He attended many tournaments, not only taking juniors around the circuit but also while acting as chauffeur to Tom Blunn, former ETTA Chairman and Treasurer.

Tony was a major figure in his county of Yorkshire, being its National Councillor 1976-83 and Press Officer from 1972-80; he was made a Vice-President of the White Rose county in recognition of his significant contribution. He also was honoured with a Vice-Presidency in his Local League in Hull where he was the General Secretary for 11 years.

During this time, Hull had two of the countries top players, Tony Clayton and Alan Fletcher, whilst Yorkshire were the strongest team in the County Championships Premier Division with several international players amongst their squad including Denis Neale, Alan Hydes, Nicky Jarvis and Carole Knight, truly the heyday of Yorkshire table tennis.

As well as his administrative duties Tony was also active as an official, gaining his County Umpires badge in 1965 and Tournament Referee qualification in 1974.

Alan Ransome, OBE, TTE Honorary Life Member and former Chairman who knew Tony well says: Tony was a great enthusiast for table tennis and made a big contribution to both the Hull and East Riding League and the Yorkshire County Association as well as being a prominent member of the ETTA Tournaments Committee for several years.

“He was a very good friend and reliable colleague. He also produced a lot of very good photographs which were used widely by the ETTA at the time.”

Our condolences go to Tony’s brothers and sister.

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