Members of the Wembley and Harrow Table Tennis League are mourning the death of vice-president Allen Roper.
The 77-year-old, who is survived by his wife and two children, passed away before Christmas and was a fine servant of table tennis in north west London for many years as a player, organiser and administrator.
Roper was the League's Development Officer between 1994 and 2003 before being made vice-president, and also played in the Uxbridge and Chalfonts Leagues.
As Development Officer,he was active at the League's facility at Harrow Leisure Centre after it reopened in 1997, starting the Summer League that year and introducing juniors to the Woolwich Junior League,which later became the National Junior League.A skilled craftsman, Roper personally upgraded the facilities at the leisure centre and took junior coaching sessions.
He started out at Wembley Cricket TTC and, along with team-mate Tony Foyle,moved to Eastcote CA before joining Lowlands TTC a decade later.There Roper remained for 25 years, and became renowned among opponents for his awkwardness across the table.
In 2004 he left the Wembley & Harrow Committee to develop the club he started at Hillingdon in 1999 and the following season he entered two of the club's teams in the league.Through his hard work the club achieved Premier status, acquiring considerable funds through grant applications.
Meanwhile,Roper was active in the national game as a qualified county umpire and a level 3 coach.
He was also a skilled magician and a cabinet maker,in which capacity a contract designing and making sets for Lord Snowdon led to dinner with Princess Margaret, a commission for hand-made furniture at Kensington Palace and the job of a re-fit for the interior of the Queen's train.