It all started way back in 1952 when Warren (10 years old) went to a coaching session at the Taita Table Tennis Club run by the English Coach, Ken Stanley. His father, Vincent, a Life Member of the then Hutt Valley Table Tennis Association, was his first coach. Both Warren and his younger brother, Barry, keenly took to the game and improved rapidly.
Warren had an outstanding junior career, winning five New Zealand Junior Titles, including the Under 16 Boys Singles (1956) and Under 18 Boys Singles (1958). In 1957, on the same day, his brother Barry won the North Island Under 16 Boys Singles while Warren won the South Island Under 16 Boys Singles.
Warren went on a table tennis OE to England (1960-62). He joined the Putney Club in London where he meet World Men’s Singles Champions Victor Barna and Johnny Leach. He played in a number of interclub leagues during the week and won the Willesden League Men’s Singles (1962). Warren formed an excellent doubles combination with South African, Derek Wall (who was to represent England and Canada). They won the Men’s Doubles at the North of England (Manchester) and West of England (Exeter) Tournaments in 1962. The highlight of the trip was playing in the European Champions (1962) in Berlin.
On his return to New Zealand Warren showed the benefit of playing overseas by twice beating former Australian Champion, Geoff Jennings, in Wellington interclub (1962). He was a member of the Wellington Team which won the New Zealand Men’s A Grade Teams Title in 1962 and 1963.
Warren then joined the Empire Club and was in teams that won 6 Hutt Valley A Grade interclub titles (1964-67, 1969 and 1972). He has won the Empire Club Men’s Singles on four occasions in four different decades (1965, 1986, 1990 and 2002). He won the 1972 Wellington Open Men’s Singles.
The highlight of his table tennis career was reaching the New Zealand Open Men’s Singles Final in 1970. He beat Gary Frew (Last 16), Richard Lee (Quarter finals) and Alan Tomlinson (Semi finals) before losing to Gary Murphy (Otago) in the final 21-15 16-21 17-21 17-21.
As a veteran Warren won the New Zealand Open Over 35 Men’s Singles (1986) and Over 45 Men’s Singles (1988 & 1990). He also won the Over 40 Men’s Singles (1988) at the NZ Veterans Championships.
Warren is still a keen member of the Empire Table Tennis Club and has a great knowledge of all aspects of table tennis and is currently on the Table Tennis Wellington executive committee.
L/R rear: Barry Radford (Men’s Singles winner, Mixed Doubles winner with Audrey Eden),
Warren Evans, Peter Thompson (Men’s Doubles winners)
front: Miss Audrey Eden (Women’s Doubles winner with J Sara),
Miss Jennifer Sara (Women’s Singles winner)
Empire Club team: L/R Warren Evans, Malcolm Evans, Keith Pointon