It is with great sadness that I write to inform you that Steve Welch, one of our foremost officials, died over the Easter weekend after a short illness, at the age of 63.
There are few people in our table tennis community who would not either personally know Steve or have been influenced by the work he did.
Steve started as a County Umpire and Tournament Referee in 1996 and rose to be one of our most respected officials domestically, as well as becoming an International Umpire in 2002 and International Referee in 2005.
He was Deputy Referee at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and at the London 2012 Paralympics, and officiated at a huge number of events internationally and at home, including a number of National Championships.
He also played a huge role behind the scenes in several positions, including as Chairman of the Tournament Committee and Co-Chairman of the Tournament Approval Panel.
He leaves a void in the sport that will be almost impossible to fill. Our sympathies are with his wife of 40 years, Margaret, who was by his side at so many tournaments, and their family.
An obituary can be seen on the Table Tennis England website here: https://tabletennisengland.co.uk/news/archived/obituary-steve-welch-renowned-official/