Chelmsford & District Table Tennis League legend - Tony Condon died peacefully on 01 February 2019, aged 87. A seven times Chelmsford & District Table Tennis League Mens Singles Champion (most recently in 1972) he was by all accounts one of the best predominantly defensive players ever to have played in the Chelmsford & District Table Tennis League. Moving to the area from Yorkshire he became an integral part of the Marconi Club (for whom he worked) who dominated the Chelmsford first division with successive wins from 1945 to 1961. He was also a part of the Rosebery team who won the Chelmsford first division title seven times. He was a founder member of the Rosebery Club along with another leading player - Julien Levett.
Tony Condon was also a member of the Essex Senior first team squad - good going when the players ranked above him were twice former World Singles Champion Johnny Leach, 1963 English Champion Bobby Stevens and another Essex legend - Bobby Raybould. Tony Condon was Harlow Mens Singles Champion in 1962 as well as Romford Mens Singles Champion in 1959, 1961 and 1962. He was Chelmsford Mens Doubles Champion five times - three times in tandem with Charlie Wheeler (1957, 1958 and 1959) with Julien Levett (in 1966) and with Mark Sweeting in 1972.
Former Chelmsford League Chairman Ian Whiteside reminisces - “My one memory of watching Tony was in a Mens Singles Final at the old Hoffmann ballroom when he played Tommy Caldwell - a pretty good player himself. Tony was in total control of the match and it seemed the harder Tommy worked (and he did work hard), the classier Tony looked. One point remains in my memory. Tony was well ahead, had got Tommy away from the table returning with heavy top spin defence. Tony shaped to play yet another drive to Tommy's forehand but instead deliberately - and it was deliberate - played over the ball and then just gently dropped it over the net to win the point“.
Twice Chelmsford Mens Singles Champion Mark Sweeting recalls that to beat Tony Condon was “a truly exhausting experience and that he was one of the cleverest players of his time. Very strong mentally“.
In short - one of the best players ever to have played in the Chelmsford & District Table Tennis League.