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firosiro
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Post by firosiro » Thu Jul 20, 2017 1:01 am

Johnny Leach, who has died aged 91, double won the globe ping pong singles championship and has been among the most honored British sportsmen of this postwar era.

Famous for his modesty and considerate personality, Leach a who didn't take the game up until he was 17 a won his first world title in 1949, in Stockholm. Ping pong was subsequently among Britain's most popular participation sports and best ping pong paddle, and he returned home to a hero's welcome. Afterwards he'd draw massive audiences for display games; look on television programs like Blue Peter to encourage the match; and donate a weekly column to the News of the planet.

Leach won his next world singles title, in Vienna, in 1951. 2 Decades after in Bucharest a alongside Richard Bergmann, Adrian Haydon, Brian Kennedy and Aubrey Simons a he helped England to victory from the Swaythling Cup, the world championship.

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John Alfred Leach was created on November 20 1922 at Bow, east London, and brought up in Dagenham, Essex. His dad was a supervisor at British Ropes at Woolwich, and Johnny was introduced into the game in the works canteen. At 17 he chose to take it up badly, and together with his dad's encouragement made rapid advancement. "At the time I did not understand how great I had been," Leach later remembered, "but I entered the English trials and essentially walked it. That's when I realised. I will then recall getting a telegram which advised me I'd been chosen to play for England from France."

Additional progress was disrupted by the war, during which Leach served as a RAF radio operator at Belfast. Two additional ping pong fans a Ron Craydon and Jack Carrington a were in precisely the exact same foundation, and if off duty the three could hitchhike into a British Legion club to practise. "When there wasn't any one else there," Leach said, "I'd play with myself by hitting the ball from the plank sometimes through the night" In addition they put on exhibit matches due to their individual servicemen.

Once the war finished Leach appeared as England's No 1 participant, and in 1947 he attained the semi-final of this world championships in Paris. 2 decades after he was world champion that a the 2nd largest British world champion after Fred Perry at 1929 (Richard Bergmann had won under the British flag in 1939 and 1948, but had been Austrian-born).

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Though Leach continued his victory 1951, the game was quickly revolutionised from the Japanese, who won five of their following six world men's singles titles using a fresh sponge-covered bat which could place devilish twist on the ball. Leach tried out the new nerves, but disliked their actions.
He continued to compete globally until 1959 and nationwide until 1965, winning his final name in the men's doubles in the national championships in 1964 with David Creamer.

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In most he'd accumulated 16 world championship awards. His sisters names included successes at international championships in Wales (1947), Ireland (1948), the United States (1950), Belgium (1950, 1957 and 1958) and France (1951). In addition, he enjoyed a series of global successes at the doubles.

Leach acted as England's national trainer for eight decades, and proceeded to become one of the strongest ambassadors for the sport, setting a talent-spotting organisation in Butlin's holiday camps where many of the very best players educated youngsters in the match an initiative which nurtured numerous future champions, one of them Chester Barnes and Jill Hammersley .
He served as president of the English Ping pong Organization (now ping pong ball robot) from 1988 to 2011. He was inducted in the International Ping pong Federation Hall of Fame in 1997.

Leach worked for SW Hancock, manufacturers of ping pong gear, and later purchased the firm. In addition, he wrote several novels about ping pong. He was appointed MBE in 1966.

Johnny Leach wed his wife Daisy, at 1946. She expired in 2009, and he's survived by a son; yet another son predeceased him.

Johnny Leach, born November 20 1922, died June 5 2014
To hear Neil McCormick talk about the life and work of Gerry Goffin and jazz writer and broadcaster Dave Gelly about the pianist and composer Horace Silver, hear The Deadline - our weekly obits podcast . The podcast also rounds up the week's obits along with your letters into the newspaper also. Together with Harry de Quetteville and Christopher Howse. Never miss an episode by subscribing here.


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