Table Tennis Wellington


TTW:Player Profile

Player Profile: Depak Patel the Backhand Wizard

Thanks to Malcolm Wong for another player profile!
Depak PatelDepak Patel is a Empire Premier 1 player and a ITTF level 1 coach. He was born in the town of Pardi in the state of Gujarat (India). When he was 3 months old the family immigrated to England. After a 3 month journey by ship they settled in Leicester, the largest city in the East Midlands.

Depak played football (left winger) at school from age 10. Among his team mates was Winston White (right winger), who was to play professionally for Leicester and several other clubs (1976-93) making 529 appearances and scoring 61 goals. Playing for a rival school team was Gary Lineker (striker), who went on to played 80 times for England (48 goals). Depak was in the football team that were the Midlands Asian Students 5 a side Champions. He is a supporter of both Leicester City and Chelsea Football Teams.

Depak started playing table tennis at the local youth club at age 13. A teacher at his high school encouraged him to go to a Saturday coaching group. He joined Abbey Table Tennis Club and started off in Division 15 which his team won in his first season (1976). Depak progressed through to Division 4 before he moved to London. There he joined Ashford Table Tennis Club where he played Division 1 in 1988/89 and 1989/90. The Club won the British League (1988/89) with a team full of internationals including the Belgian, Jean-Michael Saive (The future European Men’s Singles Champion in1994 and World Number 1) and New Zealander Peter Jackson. Depak won the National Asian Students Table Tennis Singles, Doubles and Mixed Doubles in 1981 and 1984.

Depak also played cricket. He played for the Universal Cricket Club at 14 in the same team was his older brother. Depak was in the team that won the Leicester Liger Festival of Cricket Tournament (1976). His team included 4 Indian test players including Dilip Doshi who was a friend of his older brother in India. The other Indian test players were Ashok Mankad, Brijesh Patel and Madan Lal. The trophy was presented by Mushtaq Mohammad, the former Pakistan Cricket Captain. Depak’s best season was in 1990 for the Sunbury Village Cricket Club where he took the most wickets (75), had the most 5 wicket bags and had the most ‘Man of the Match’ awards during the season. Depak scored his only century (107 n.o.) when he carried the bat through out the innings for the Papatoetoe Cricket Club Presidents team (2000)

Depak moved to New Zealand in 1991 and has lived in Wellington and Auckland. Currently Depak plays and coaches at the Empire Club. He has won the Titan Club Singles twice (2007 & 2008) and the Empire Club Singles on 3 occasions (2004, 2009 & 2010). Depak was in the Wellington O45 Team that won the NZ Teams twice (2006 with Bryan McConnochie) and (2008 with Chris Talbot & Lindsay Ward). Depak was selected for the NZ Veterans team in the test against Australia (2007). He was the Captain of the NZ Over 50 Men’s Team at the Australian Veterans Tournament (2010). He has won 78 tournament titles including the North Island Over 40 Men’s Singles (2009). Depak said his best tournament wins were against Craig Dye and Thomas Samuelson. He is still very keen about playing table tennis and practises up to 4 times a week.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Lindsay Ward – The Titan Warrior

Thanks again to Malcolm for his latest player profile, this time on local celeb Lindsay Ward!

Lindsay Ward in the early 70s

Lindsay Ward in 2011
Lindsay first played Wellington A Grade interclub in 1972. Almost 40 years ago! He was also a former Wellington Regional 1 tennis interclub player for more than a decade. Lindsay is the only person to win both NZ Veterans Tennis and Table Tennis Titles. In his school days he was a fast sprinter and represented his primary and secondary school in athletics. His speed helped him in his rugby and he was a winger in the Wellington Intermediate Schools Team that won the Southern North Island Tournament (1968) where he scored 2 tries in the final. Today Lindsay is also a keen cyclist.

Lindsay first played tennis at age 10 and was a Wellington Primary Schools Representative. He won the Wellington Boys Under 15 Singles (1969). Lindsay was the Club Singles Champion at Vogelmorn (4) Miramar (2) and Wellington (5). He played Regional 1 tennis for Miramar and Wellington. In a Dominion Post story he was nick-named The Surgeon for the way he dissected his opponents. In 2000 Lindsay won the NZ Veterans Tennis Over 45 Men’s Singles, the Over 45 Men’s Doubles with Terry Poynter, and Over 40 Mixed Doubles with Robyn Flynn.

Lindsay first played interclub table tennis in 1969 for Kilbirnie RSA. By 1972 he was playing in their A Grade team with Brian Kennedy, Adrian Lust and Boris Halama. He won the Wellington Secondary Schools Table Tennis Boys Singles and Doubles title and was a Wellington Junior Representative that year. In 1973 his Kilbirnie RSA team won the A Grade title (Gerald Bell Memorial Cup). Lindsay was ranked number 1 (Wellington Junior Boys) and Number 10 (Wellington Men’s) and won the Under 18 Boy’s Singles and U21 Men’s Singles at both the Wellington Regionals and Wellington Open Tournaments. When the Kilbirnie RSA folded up, the players formed Kilbirnie United. Kilbirnie United (Lindsay with Brian Kennedy, Adrian Lust and Warren Mak) won the Wellington A Grade Competition in 1974.

In 1976 Lindsay joined the Titan Club and has represents them in interclub ever since. In 1978 the Titan team (Lindsay Ward, Adrian Lust and Warren Mak) reached the final of the Rothmans National Club Competition in Auckland where they lost 4-7 to Manurewa. The Titan Team (Lindsay with Warren Mak, Adrian Lust and Nha Nguyen) won the A Grade in 1980. Lindsay was a member of the Titan team that won the Wellington Premier 1 competition for 5 consecutive years 2002-2006. Robert Chung was the only other player in the team for all 5 years. Other players included Jie Zhang, Harry Singh, Nha Nguyen and Catherine Zhou. Lindsay has also won the Titan Club Singles 7 times ( 2001-2002, 2004-2006, 2009-2010).

In the top grade Lindsay has won more than 1,000 matches. He has been the top Wellington player in the averages 18 times. Since the Premiers Grades began in 1981 Lindsay has maintained an overall average of over 83%. His best year was 2008 where he won 36 out of 37 matches played (97.30%) but was surprisingly only ranked 7th on the Wellington Men’s list. He is the only person playing Premier 1 in the first year of the competition (1981) still playing in the grade today.

In 1982, L/R: Lindsay Ward, Peter Miller, Ann Gyongyos, Kay Kelly,
Adrian Lust, Dianne Ord, Lloyd Richards, Robert Kerr
Lindsay was first selected in the Wellington Men’s Team (with Lloyd Richards and Ron Foster) for the NZ Teams Tournament in 1976. He last played for the top Wellington Men’s Team at this tournament in 2005 and would still be a contender for this team if available. Lindsay was a member of the Wellington Over 45 Men’s Team that won the NZ O45 Teams in 2004 (with Bryan McConnochie and Chris Talbot) and 2008 (with Chris Talbot and Depak Patel).

Lindsay was the Wellington number one ranked Man 17 times during the period 1978-2005. He has won the Men’s Singles at the Wellington Open 7 times over 28 years (1978, 1983, 1984, 1986, 2002, 2003, 2006) and was a losing semi finalist this year. He has also won the Men’s Singles at the Hutt Valley Open, Kapiti Open, Wairarapa Open and the Manawatu Open. In 1978 he reached the semi finals of the NZ Men’s Singles and was ranked number 9 in NZ that year. At the NZ Open Lindsay won the Over 45 Men’s Singles twice (2001 and 2008) and the Over 45 Men’s Doubles with Ian Talbot (2003). He was selected in the Over 50 NZ Men’s team in the test against Australia (2008).

This year Lindsay won the Over 50 Men’s Singles at the North Island Tournament for the third year in a row. He won the Over 30 and Over 50 Singles at the Wellington Open. Lindsay lost a close match with Craig Dye in the NZ Men’s Over 30 Singles final. He still has many years of table tennis ahead of him!

Lindsay made it to the semi-final of this year’s Wellington Open:

Lindsay is currently 51st on the TTNZ Men’s open Ratings list (the 3rd placed Wellingtonian there).
(Thanks to the TTNZ Archives for the older photos and Win for the video.)

Warren Evans – A lifetime in table tennis


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.

At the Marlborough Open (1960)

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)

Winners Hutt Valley A Grade Interclub (1964)

Empire Club team: L/R Warren Evans, Malcolm Evans, Keith Pointon


– Player Profile by Malcolm Wong

Bryan McConnochie – The Big Looper

Malcolm writes in with another player profile, this time Bryan McConnochie…

Bryan is a left hand attacking player, still playing Premier 1 interclub table tennis at the age of 62. In his younger days he played representative rugby for 4 provinces over 21 years (1968-1989): South Canterbury, Canterbury, Wairarapa-Bush and Horowhenua. Bryan started off as an open side flanker and ending up as a tight head prop. One of his highlights was playing wing and marking the great All Black, Bryan Williams, when Wairarapa-Bush played the All Blacks during the 1972 internal tour.

Bryan and his son Phillip have always played interclub together and have won several Men’s Open Doubles titles. The Wairarapa, Manawatu and Hawke’s Bay Men’s Doubles, and the North Island Men’s B Grade (twice) and Over 30 title.

In 1998 Bryan partnered by Joan Munn (Victoria, Australia) upset the 3rd, 2nd and 1st seeds to win the New Zealand Veterans Over 40 Mixed Doubles. He has won 9 individual veterans titles at the New Zealand Open. This included the Over 55 Men’s Single (2006). Bryan has represented New Zealand in the veterans test against Australia.

The Talbot Brothers

Chris & Ian Talbot

Ian and Chris Talbot, two well known Empire Premier 1 players, come from a table tennis family. The father, Des, and all the six sons played. The boys started playing in primary school. Ian, Ross, Geoff and Chris won the Wellington Primary Schools Boys Singles Titles. Ross won the Primary Schools Singles three times and was only 9 years of age when he won for the first time in 1965. Ross won the Wellington Senior and Junior Secondary Schools Boys Singles in 1970.

Des Talbot took over the running of the Porirua Table Tennis Club. The family dominated the Club Singles Title. Des, won the title when it was first held in 1969, and also 1975. Ian won in 1970 and 1972-73. Ross won seven times,1971,1974,1977-78 and 1982-84. Murray won 1980-81. Chris won eight time, 1985-92. Only non family members to win were Tony Rutledge (1976) and Steve Corbett (1979). Chris Talbot still has the cup as the Porirua Club folded up after 1992.

The Talbot brothers had their own basketball team in the Porirua league, with Ross and Bryan the stars. Bryan went on to represent Porirua . Ian, Chris and Bryan have run marathons. Ian has run 20 marathons with a best time of 2 hours 29 minutes 16 seconds (London 1981). Ian has also run triathons and been on the Round Taupo Cycle Challenge (160 km) 3 times. Chris played senior cricket for North City and caught NZ opening batsman Bruce Edgar out.

Murray, Ian, Ross and Chris all represented Kapiti at the NZ Championships. Murray, Ross and Chris have all been the top ranked man in Kapiti. After the Kapiti Association folded up Ian and Chris joined the Empire Club. Chris has played Premier 1 since 1994 and Ian from 2000.They were in the Empire team that finished runner up in Premier 1 (2009). They have both won the Empire Club Singles. Chris 5 times (1999-2001, 2003, 2006) and Ian (2005). And together they have won the club doubles 10 times (1999-2006, 2009-2010).

Ian and Chris Talbot have represented New Zealand in the veterans table tennis test against Australia at Easter. Ian has won the NZ Over 45 Men’s Doubles twice, with Lindsay Ward (2003) and with his brother, Chris (2008). They have had much success in the NZ Masters Games in Wanganui. Ian has won 12 Gold Medals and Chris 10 Gold medals.

-Malcolm Wong

Blog at

Up ↑