Celebration of Charlie’s Life

Table Tennis England pays tribute to Charlie

South Today pays tribute to Charlie

The loss of Charlie Childs, club founder, lead coach and inspiration to so many, in March 2020 was a blow to us all at the club, made even worse by the Covid-19 lockdown and the inability for the club to come together and remember him. We were eventually able to put that right with a celebration of Charlie’s Table Tennis life on Sunday 15th August 2021, made possible by both the club and Charlie’s family.

Charlie’s Big Day began with a Barbeque in the playing field at Fareham Academy. More than 150 current club members, former club members, family members and representatives came together on a blustery summer’s day. A number of club members brought their Barbeques along and began cooking up a mountain of burgers and sausages.  A finger buffet food was also provided by the Child’s family. 

Sandra Deaton and Priya Samuel, Chairman and TTE board member also attended and following a moving speech, Sandra announced the establishment of a Coaching grant scheme in Charlie’s name. To help establish the scheme, the club and Charlie’s family both handed over cheques for £500. A collection was also started for those who wished to contribute to the scheme. 

Events then moved inside the school.  Former protégés of Charlie’s, Lois Peake, Letitia McMullan, Annabelle Baker (formerly Morle) and Ugar Saglik, played an exhibition match in the school assembly hall, umpired by Dave Wiles and compered by Tim Currass. Lois and Ugur took on Annabelle and Letitia putting on a fantastic display of table tennis with some incredible rallies. In the end, Lois and Ugur were too strong for Annabelle and Letitia but the match was a fitting tribute to Charlie and his coaching and mentoring skills in particular. 

Ed Sault of BBC South Today arrived in time to record the exhibition match and conducted a number of interviews with members of the club afterwards. The news piece was aired on BBC South Today on Monday 23rd August 2021 and can be seen here [insert link].

The Big Day continued with a festival of Table Tennis. A Table Tennis Disco, complete with glitter ball and laser lights, accompanied by MIke Cooksley’s playlist, took place in the Sports Hall. The giant top table event created a real buzz, with players rotating in and out of the play. In the gymnasium, four tables were set up for free play. With all tables continuously in use, old and new players socialised and remembered Charlie in the best possible way. Play continued into the early evening until it was time to pack-up.

The day was a fantastic way to remember Charlie. Thanks goes to everyone who came along and helped make it such a success and of course to Mike Cooksley and all of those who assisted in its organisation. The way the club, old and new,  came together to hold the event is a testament in itself to the inclusive, close knit table tennis family that Charlie created. 


As deputy Chairman of Table Tennis England, Charlie’s work encompassed governance of the sport but also a strong involvement with women’s and disabled table tennis, and a grant scheme for continuing development in these areas was announced by Sandra Deaton, Chairperson of Table Tennis England, details of which can be found here. 

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