22 Sep 2016

Friends over many years met on Saturday 3rd September at a special gathering organised by the Swaythling Club Ireland at the Talbot Hotel in Stillorgan, Dublin.

A total of 21 guests were welcomed by Ken Strong, the President of Table Tennis Ireland.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

All enjoyed a most convivial time, an occasion for reminiscing with old friends.

Special awards

Notably special awards were made five members of the group in recognition of their contributions to table tennis in the Emerald Isle; the recipients were Jimmy Magee, Barney Champion, Sonny Knowles, Marie Martin and Jimmy Fleming.

Owen Cathcart

In addition, Pat O’Brien, the President of the Swaythling Club Ireland, travelled to Belfast to meet Owen Cathcart, the young man who earlier this year had won the Cadet Boys’ Singles title at the 2016 Belgium Junior and Cadet Open in Spa.

Alongside, John Murphy, the coach who had guided Owen Cathcart to success in Spa, the three enjoyed lunch at the Stormont Hotel, Belfast.

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Reunion in Dublin Tommy Caffrey (left and right) Sonny Knowles (Photo: courtesy of Pat O’Brien)

Plaque presented

 “It was great to meet Owen and I presented him with a plaque to mark the occasion”, said Pat O’Brien. “I have to say it’s only a matter of time before we will be hearing a lot more about this young man.”

No doubt he may follow in the footsteps of the likes of Tommy Caffrey who attended the dinner in Dublin; pertinently John Murphy has plans to visit China before the Christmas holidays.

Vote of thanks

“Finally, I would like to say a big thank you to everyone for coming to the Swaythling Club Ireland dinner and I look forward to meeting up again in the New Year”, concluded Pat O’Brien.

No doubt all will meet and all will follow closely the progress of Owen Cathcart

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Meeting in Belfast (left to right) John Murphy, Owen Cathcart and Pat O’Brien (Photo: courtesy of Pat O’Brien)

Swaythling Club Joe Veselsky John Murphy Owen Cathart Pat O'Brien Tommy Caffrey Sonny Knowles