Bryan Watts.


As many of you know, sadly, Bryan passed away last week, collapsing at a match and not recovering; comment was made that thankfully Bryan was with friends when it happened.


Whereas, Bryan has had some 50 years relationship with local and County Tennis, from a Table Tennis point of view, it seemed just a few years. Bryan used to play with me for the Westcliff Lawn Tennis Club at Table Tennis in the mid 1960s and then retired to concentrate on his businesses and Tennis.


On the 26th June 2001, Bryan approached me and said that he would like to form a new Table Tennis club at the Thorpe Bay Tennis Club and they would like to enter one team for the 2001/2 season. This they did, playing at the Tennis Club in Thorpe Bay Gardens. The team was duly entered into our Division 3. The team comprised of 5 players, Bryan Watts as Secretary and Team Captain, John Blackman and his son Lee, Graham Ray and Jeffrey Klein. In their first season they finished a respectable 9th.


The following year Bryan landed a coop in persuading Jamie Willson to return to the sport after several years’ absence. Jamie being a former top Premier Player soon began to find his old form and in consequence, in year 2002/ 3 Thorpe Bay finished 2nd and gained promotion to Division 1.  


The next season, 2003/4, Bryan persuaded another former top Southend player to return to our League, Peter (Spud) Saunders. Bryan put a team in the Southend Premier and another in the 2nd Division. The first team then recruited David Jacobs and John Monk, 2 fine Essex representative players. In the 2nd team he added former Southend No 2, John Poysden and former Northumberland County player Mike Watson and Mike Peer. The Club was now becoming one of the strongest in our League and finished mid table in there Premier Division and likewise in Division 3.


In 2004/5 Bryan approached me and said that, following the Tennis Club's successful application for floodlights, the table section may have to move.  I suggested that perhaps they would like to play at our house in the Broadway and thus the team moved to its present home. During the 2 years here, Bryan became a great friend of the whole family and we will all miss him dearly. The 2004/5 Season was their best so far with the A side finishing 2nd in the Premier Division and the B side finishing 4th in Division 2.


In 2005/6 Bryan rang me to ask if they could put in a junior team into the bottom Division and a squad of 11 and 12 year olds have thoroughly enjoyed their  first experience of league table tennis. To date they have done very well, the A side is again in 2nd place in the Premier Division and the B side in mid table.


In Bryans short time in Table Tennis, after a 40 year break, he built a new club that was strong at the top, had a good range of players and several promising youngsters. During that time he made many friends and he will be much missed.


We extend our condolences to his Partner, Margaret and his family and his many friends,


Ken Field


On behalf of the Southend Table Tennis League and the Rawreth and Broadway Table Tennis Clubs.


        A number of our League have asked for the funeral arrangements which are as follows:

Subject: Funeral Arrangements for Bryan Watts

Dear All,
I should like to and inform you of the funeral arrangements for Bryan Watts.
The funeral has been arranged for Monday 20th February at 2.40pm in the larger Chapel at the Southend Crematorium in Sutton Road.
Following the service an invitation has been extended by Margaret and Bryan's Family, for everyone to join them for some light refreshment and nibbles at the Tennis Club.
Only flowers from Margaret and the Family have been requested.
Margaret and the Family have asked that instead of flowers from friends that a special fund be set up for donations to be made and so the 'Bryan Watts Memorial Fund' has been created to which donations can be made payable. As you will all be aware Bryan enjoyed all aspects of the Tennis Club and involved himself in many different avenues of tennis activity. Acting upon Margaret and the Family's request this fund, with their involvement, aided by the Committee of the Tennis Club will administer the fund in memory of Bryan.
Donations are to be sent to the Funeral Directors:-
    S. Stibbard & Sons Ltd,
    4 Commonhall Lane,
    Essex SS7 2RN.
If I can of any assistance in connection with the funeral arrangements please do not hesitate to contact me.
Home Tel No:-    01702 331814
Mobile Tel No:-   07956 364723
Beet regards.
Graham Ray