Former England coach and Table Tennis England Vice-President Derrick Marples has died at the age of 89.
Born in Yorkshire but resident in Derbyshire since 1963, Derrick played a key role in the development of a number of top English talents. He coached three Senior National Champions – Helen Lower (three women’s singles titles), Alison Gordon (four women’s singles titles) and Alan Cooke (six men’s singles titles).
He was also coach to the multiple gold medal-winning England team at the Commonwealth Championships in Kenya in 1997.
Derrick was a local Chesterfield League player until the age of 85 and also Derbyshire County TTA Chairman for 20 years from 1996 and County Coaching Secretary/Officer for more than 30 years.
A Level 4 coach, tutor and assessor, his coaching career began in 1961 and he was still coaching as recently as 2015. He was ETTA Coach of the Year in 2004/05 and became a Table Tennis England Vice-President in 2015. His family are also heavily involved in table tennis – his son Neil has held various positions in Chesterfield TTL, while his grandson Shaun is currently Pathway Manager at British Para Table Tennis.
Derrick was a key influence on the career of former England No 1 Alan Cooke, who is currently Table Tennis England Technical Director. Alan said of Derrick: “He was my biggest influence by a country mile. I met him when I was 10, in 1976, and he became not only my coach but we stayed friends right up to the end. He was amazing as a coach and years ahead of his time and had an impact on many other kids he’s worked with over the years”
“He was a strong character and a great person and teacher of the sport.
Derrick was totally devoted to the sport and his influence extended from Chesterfield and Derbyshire all the way to the world stage. He dad a huge impact at a local level and was just as proud of the successes his players had at that level as he was of those who won National titles.
“Many players will remember him with fondness and gratitude and our thoughts are with Derrick’s family at this sad time.”
Derrick’s funeral will take place on Friday 15th November at 11.30am at Chesterfield Crematorium and afterwards at the Olde House in Newbold, Chesterfield.