Neil Houghton – 1948 - 2016
Neil was born in Cheshire in the late forties and moved to Hathersage in Derbyshire when his father became a headmaster in the area. He became involved in table tennis when Colin Deaton did a coaching clinic at his father’s school. He taught biology at Eckington School and retired early around 2000 with ill Health.
He had passed all the coach’s papers and completed his practical sessions and then spent all his time on his greatest passion: table tennis. By this time he and his mother had moved to Newbold, Chesterfield. He was an average player, who worked hard to improve his game. He coached many young players and his greatest success was supporting and helping Louise Durrant, from Worksop, to be the number 1 junior in England.
He helped Mr C Henry run the Derbyshire Schools table tennis for several years. He joined the Derbyshire Table Tennis Association committee in 1993 and became the junior team coach, with his most successful season 2008/9 when Derbyshire juniors won the Junior Premier. He coached at Burton Uxbridge Club for several years.
He then moved to Wellow School in Nottinghamshire where he coached to the present day. He helped to run two junior 1* at Wellow as well as junior and senior county championships matches. He coached Alex Green as a junior and senior player. He wrote reports for Derbyshire in the ETTA News magazine.
He has been playing table tennis in the Worksop League for several seasons and was due to play in a final in April. He was in his second year of Umpire’s secretary on the Derbyshire TTA committee. He has also been playing in the Chesterfield League this season with Pilsley and had played on the Friday before his death.
Pilsley TT Club thank him for his identified support as he is a terrible loss and will be sorely missed. He was in his first year of coaching at the new Queens Park Sports Centre, Chesterfield. Derbyshire TTA had entered a cadet team this year, with Neil as coach and he died five days before the second session of matches.
Neil Houghton died Tuesday 5th April 2016 and his funeral is on Monday 25th April at the Brimington Crematory, Chesterfield at 2.30pm.