Ping Pong golfers win top awards

Brian Kean (Ashton-on-Mersey GC) and John Hilton (Davenport and Mottram Hall GC’s) have both enjoyed plenty of success over the years in golf.

Brian has been a member of Ashton-on-Mersey for many years and given great service to his club as the treasurer as well as enjoying plenty of playing success.

His son Kevin was runner-up in the County Championship in 2005 to David Horsey at Royal Liverpool and also runner-up in the match-play championship to Ian Davie at Heswall in 2006 and has enjoyed a long career in the golf industry.

John Hilton is well known on the playing circuit for his consistent play and success on Maxitours and the Manchester and District Golf Alliance.

But both Brian and John enjoyed stellar careers in table tennis before they took up golf and their success and contribution to the sport has seen them recently pick up two top national table tennis awards.

Brian began his table tennis career at Edinburgh Boys Club and then went on to win the Scottish singles, double and mixed championships as well as representing Scotland in World, European and Commonwealth Championships.

Brian (right) with John and their awards at Chorlton Golf Club

Brian moved to Manchester in 1963 and joined the YMCA team and made great progress with hard work.

His coach Derek Schofield suggested that he returned to Scotland to compete in the National Championships which took him to the top level with great success.

He was the Scottish national team trainer and coach for five years and was the UKCC qualified coach and ETTA North West Coaching co-ordinator and then the ETTA regional coach.

He has coached table tennis at Altrincham Boys Grammar School for ten years with considerable success and is the Greater Manchester Schools team and individual organiser as well as enjoying playing plenty of golf to a good level.

His award for his services to his sport was the ‘Table Tennis England Lifetime Achievement Award’ which he was delighted to receive.

John Hilton was a natural all-round sportsman at his school in Hyde with great success in gymnastics and squash.

He took up table tennis at Hyde Lads Club and let his talent shine and develop at Manchester YMCA to move up to national level.

After a two-year spell in Australia where he gained representative honours before returning to Manchester to take his game to a new level in the national rankings and won a place in the 1980 European Championships where he reached the pinnacle of his career by taking the European singles title.

He was ranked number one in Europe and fifth in the world and played in four World, European and Commonwealth Championships and he is also an ETTA qualified coach,

He is a great team player in golf and always in demand as a partner at top local competitions and has won plenty of titles in golf.

John’s great contribution to table tennis was recognised by his Induction to the Table Tennis Hall of Fame.

Copy & image: Geoff Garnett

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