Club President Lindsay Muir hailed it a ‘magical night’ as Murrayfield Table Tennis Club celebrated their centenary on 12 November.

One of Scotland’s leading clubs, it was formed in 1922. The event took place in Leith at a packed Out of the Blue Drill Hall. The morning and afternoon focussed on junior coaching and games. The evening involved speeches, exhibition matches, a raffle, and a magic display. The event brought together players from the club’s past, leading figures from Scottish table tennis, as well as young academy players hoping to make a big impression on the sport in the future. 

Junior coaching. Photo by Ewa Well
Nichole Lee in action. Photo by Ewa Well

At the centenary event, Table Tennis Scotland (TTS) representatives Terry McLernon OBE (TTS Chairman) and Stewart MacGowan (Honorary President) jointly presented Lindsay Muir with an award.

Richard Yule, Chief Operating Officer of Table Tennis Scotland, was the main speaker. In his comments Yule noted that, in recent decades, Murrayfield had enjoyed leadership from three outstanding figures: Michael MacLaren, Lindsay McCrea and Lindsay Muir. They had played leading roles in Murrayfield but also within Scottish table tennis more generally. He commented that these were the type of outstanding volunteers who ensure the health of the sport.

The sport had also given Yule, and many present, great opportunities to travel the world, playing in international events. Many of those in attendance had played at the highest level, including Terry Forker, Sarah Kenhard (nee Hurry), Pete Lugton and Colin Dalgleish.

Spectators applaud. Photo by Gordon Muir

The evening featured two short exhibition matches between players hoping to follow in these illustrious footsteps.

First of all it was the battle of Charlie McGowan’s spiny loops versus current Scottish champion Faye Leggett’s fast counter attacks. Later, it was the battle of two of Murrayfield’s Academy players, Nichole Lee and Rory Thomson; two outstanding talents for the future.

Despite the pressure of the crowd, the two short matches featured several good rallies and impressive play. Leon the Magician performed some sections of his successful 2022 Edinburgh Fringe show with 2020 Scottish champion Colin Dalgleish among his ‘victims’.

William Goh. Photo by Gordon Muir.

A raffle held was deemed a great success in raising funds for the club. A exhibition of club memorabilia and vintage table tennis equipment gave older players a change to reminisce, while younger players were perplexed by the oddly shaped bats. Those attending also had the chance to pick up a copy of a short history of the club (Murrayfield Memorial Club: the First 100 Years) which has recently been published.

The pamphlet was designed and printed by Out of the Blueprint.

Vintage table tennis equipment. Photo by Ewa Well.
Murrayfield Memorial Club history pamphlet.
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