Shaun Bibby, a well-known player, coach and administrator in the Sheffield area, passed away last week at the age of 56. Neil Marples has provided this tribute.
It is so sad to have to report that Shaun Bibby has lost his very short battle against cancer and passed away peacefully at home on Friday February 18. Shaun was not happy that a small operation in early October was going to prevent him from playing for three weeks, nobody knew that by February he would not be with us.
Anyone who knew him would know that he was a colourful, larger than life character and a tough competitor that never gave up. You always knew when he was on the table as the cry of “Good Boy Bibby” would be heard many times.
Shaun started playing at Gleadless Valley Secondary School where a teacher would charge players 1/2p a day to play, if they beat him then the kids got a free week and it wasn’t long before Shaun’s school table tennis was free of charge.
This led to Shaun playing regularly in the Sheffield league and, as he developed, into Chesterfield and Nottingham. He won many titles and was proud to let people know that he counted the number of titles he had won by the number of cases required to hold his trophies!
His enthusiasm for the game was incredible, in addition to local leagues he also competed on the county, tournament, British League and latterly the veterans circuit.
He was also very keen to help out on developing table tennis. On the administrative side he became Chairman of South Yorkshire County association, member of Sheffield executive committee and Development officer in Chesterfield.
He also knew that he could help with player development. So Shaun qualified as a coach, his love of getting involved and seeing people develop was so great that he decided to retire and set himself up as full-time coach. It wasn’t long before he was regularly coaching in many schools and at the Speedwell Academy in Chesterfield.
He then saw the opportunity to have his own club based at the Ravenshead Leisure Centre in Mansfield. Despite Covid restrictions this club was developing as he intended it to and he was over the moon when last October his club was used for the County Senior Div 2 weekend. He promoted this as enthusiastically as anything has ever been promoted, with free entry to everyone.
The table tennis community has lost a great member, anyone who came into contact with him will I am sure remember him.
Spare a thought for those he left behind, specifically his partner Anne Marie and her son Ty who Shaun was a fabulous step-dad to, his children – son James, daughter Charlotte and partner Muz with their son, Shaun’s grandchild Travis who he absolutely doted on, and his mother Brenda and partner Pete who Shaun was very close along with his brother Steve, all in a state of absolute shock, losing Shaun at only 56 years of age is a cruel twist of fate. God Bless Shaun, rest in peace.
Shaun’s funeral is at 3.10pm on Friday 18th March at Chesterfield Crematorium and afterwards at Riverside Club, Hollis Lane.