County honour for Littlehampton sportsman Dennis, 90

THE NEW vice-president of the Sussex Table Tennis Association is certainly not lacking in experience.

Ninety-year-old Dennis Rhodes, of Littlehampton, has been playing the sport for almost 80 years, and is currently a member of the Woodlands Table Tennis Club in Rustington, which has several teams in the Worthing and District league.

Dennis was made vice-president earlier this month, and was presented with a certificate during a special event at the Woodland Centre, attended by his friends and family, and 30 fellow club members.

Steven Steel, chairman of the association, and Chris Newberry, chairman of the South West Sussex Table Tennis League, also went along, and the presentation was made by Peter Wales, president of the Worthing and District league, who congratulated Dennis, and said what an asset he had been to the sport.

Dave Richardson, chairman of the Woodlands club, said: “Dennis has played table tennis for the last 77 years, starting in West Bromwich before moving to Littlehampton in the 1960s. He has played in the South West Sussex League and for many years was the president of the league.

“Dennis had been presented with the Maurice Goldstien Merit Award, in 1996, by the English Table Tennis Association for services to table tennis.”

He went on to say Dennis, who he called a “real gentleman”, was an inspiration to all members of Woodlands, both on and off the table, as he helped with coaching, set up the hall every week and gave advice to both new and experienced players.

“After the presentation,” said Dave, “Dennis said how very proud and honoured he was to receive this award, and thanked the SCTTA for presenting the certificate. He said that over the past 77 years of playing table tennis, which had been a real pleasure, he had played many great games and made such wonderful friends, many of whom were with him that evening.”