It is with great sadness that the Chelmsford & District Table Tennis League Committee have to report the death of Life Member Hill Dowsett, a Coach of over 40 years standing in Chelmsford and Essex. Hill died on Tuesday 18 October 2018, aged 81. Hill became a Life Member of the League in 2002 and was also the recipient of the League’s “Service Award” - the Rosebery / Pope & Smith Award in 2005. As a player he was the League’s Seven Down Singles winner in 1977, 1979 and 1980. He first played in the League in the 1960s.
However, it is as a Coach that Hill is best know. Daughter Julie (now Julie Johnson) has been the winner of the M&G Investments Ladies Singles title in the Chelmsford Championships an incredible 23 times. This record speaks for itself and there is no need to eulogise. Julie was a magnificent winner of the English Schools Table Tennis Association International event Intermediate Singles title in 1979. Son Terry is a six times winner of the Mens Singles in the Braintee League. Keeping it in the family Hill’s grand children - Scott Dowsett, Ryan Gooday and Rykki Vansertima all became County ranked Juniors - and all benefited from Hill‘s coaching. Hill was Chelmsford League Coaching Officer for a number of years and worked in both the Chelmsford and Braintree Leagues with other well known local Coaches - Joe Wigley and Peter Hill. Hill had a spell as County Coaching Officer having also been the Assistant County Coaching Officer to Ron Gore in the early 1970s. Literally hundreds of different players have benefited from his coaching and insight. For those with good memories the following players from Chelmsford and Braintree have all been the beneficiaries of Hill‘s Coaching - Brandon Crouchman, Neil Gooday, Richard Darnell, Shane Champion, Dave Richardson, Paul Richardson, Paul Wellington, Kevin Howard, Martin Wells, Steve Kerns, David Kerns, Cathy Eakin, Claire Milburn, Paul Chaplin, Nick Mills, Martin Green, Robin Lang, Tricia Taylor, Paul Ashley, Steve Scholz, Stevie Pell and Dacre Pell. These are just a few of the players who Hill was able to enthuse.
Hill had a spell as County Coach in Suffolk as well and ran the Suffolk County second team. When the British League started Hill was the Manager / Coach of the Witham Town Football Club team whose players included son Terry, Robin Lang, Peter Hayden, Derek Wood, Malcolm Francis and Nick Standen. Hill’s commitment to encouraging Juniors to play the Sport can be seen by the fact that in 2007 the Hill Dowsett Junior Award was established to reward the Junior player who having played in 80% of their side’s games has the best percentage record in the Chelmsford League. Always mindful of the fact that players have different levels of natural ability Hill had no problem if it became clear that a player’s likely potential wasn’t too high. However he had little time for players who didn’t put in maximum effort. Hill is the most prolific Coach ever in the history of the Chelmsford & District Table Tennis League.
The Funeral is at Chelmsford Crematorium on Wednesday 14 November 2018 at 13.30 hours with a wake to follow at Baddow Village Recreation Ground.
Steve Kerns - Press & Publicity Officer - Chelmsford & District Table Tennis League