An era of schools table tennis came to an end yesterday as Butterfly Schools Team Championship organiser Richard Hudson retired after 19 years.

Richard was presented with a glass plaque in honour of his commitment to the competition in front of hundreds of appreciative players, parents and colleagues at the national finals in Wolverhampton.

Table Tennis England Schools Committee Chair David Maddison made the presentation, which follows a similar honour given to Richard at the Mark Bates Ltd National Championships the previous weekend.

Richard said: “This has been a week of surprises with the Table Tennis England award last Sunday, a piece in the programme for the schools event and now today’s presentation.

“Both objects are beautiful and something I shall treasure. The other thing I will treasure has been the responses from parents and kids – so many people have said kind things.”

Richard Hudson

Richard, who is deputy chair of the Table Tennis England Schools Committee, also paid tribute to the volunteers he has worked with over the years.

He said: “There are a lot of people here who have known me for years and a team of people I’ve worked with throughout that time.

“We’ve added Table Tennis England people in recent years, but a lot of the team is much the same as it was when I started.

“The kids move on, and often to bigger and better things, but the volunteers I’ve worked with have been tremendous and great people to work with.”