The table tennis community has lost one of its legends, a ferocious competitor, ultra reliable, doggedly determined, a loyal friend and a genuinely nice guy, former England Veteran Number 1 and Veteran International, multiple Devon County Champion & Grand Prix winner Mike Short, died on April 4th 2023 aged 74.
Shorty, spent his life as a bricklayer from the age of 16, building many homes and extensions around the region and also helping with countless building projects for players and families from the Plymouth and Devon table tennis community.
He represented Devon proudly for decades and in his latter years dedicated his time to bringing on the youngsters who attended Joola Plymouth Table Tennis Club. He helped taking young players all over the country to tournaments and also to Europe. He would never say no to a knock with anyone, no matter what their ability, and always had a bit of advice to help them.
He would be ever present at Joola Plymouth Table Tennis club, a facility he helped build in 2013, sparring, knocking umpiring or having his favourite tipple …..a cup of tea.
He was a real old fashioned team player, would always be sat on the team bench and never leave, he taught many a junior the importance of respect, not only on but off the table as well. Many a junior had their headphones pulled out of their ears followed by a clip around their ear while umpiring or sat on the team bench supporting. This rubbed off on many Devon County teams as what they lacked in ability they made up for in team spirit. This was down to Shorty.
Mike had lots of success in the Plymouth & District League, Devon County and latterly on the Vetts circuit but also had many friends from all over the country and regularly competed at the European and World Veterans tournaments.
Regarded as one of the most ferocious competitors on the table, many players had tremendous battles with him as he would simply never give up. But off the table a nicer person you could not hope to meet. A really good guy.
Mike had recently suffered a short illness but this didn’t stop him attending junior county matches only last weekend and still playing his beloved table tennis only a few days before his untimely passing.
His enthusiasm for table tennis remained undiminished despite his illness, and was being cared for devotedly by his wife, Elaine. Our sincere condolences go to Elaine, his daughter Michele and all his family and friends at this extremely sad time.