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Tributes paid to Grantham table tennis legend

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Tributes have been paid to a table tennis legend in the Grantham area.

Russell Winfield passed away on Friday, April 10, aged 59.

With wife Jo, Russell had four children. His eldest, Ed and Hannah are twins, as well as younger siblings Frazer and Emily, all of whom are players in the Grantham Table Tennis League.

Russell Winfield carrying the Olympic Torch in 2012 (33560811)
Russell Winfield carrying the Olympic Torch in 2012 (33560811)

Russell absolutely adored his only grandchild, Zachary, child of eldest son Ed.

His children clearly shared Russell’s passion for table tennis, as he coached all four of them in the sport. Three of them reached national finals under their father’s tutelage.

Russell was also a long-standing player himself, as well as the role of organiser for the Grantham Table Tennis League. He was heavily involved in coaching and developing table tennis at local and county level.

Ken Wingad, of the Grantham league, gave a glowing tribute. He said: “The Grantham Table Tennis League has lost a well known and liked player and organiser, Russell Winfield, who passed away on Good Friday.

“The league and players offer their sincere condolences to Russell’s wife and four children who all play in the league.

“Russell was a larger than life character, liked by everyone and much appreciated for his organising behind the scenes.

“Russell will be sadly missed by the league, the players and all the Grantham table tennis family.

“Russell has been a much loved table tennis coach, player, organiser and fan of the game for over 20 years.”

One of Russell’s proudest moments was as a torch bearer for the 2012 London Olympics. His other sporting passion was football.

Although he supported Derby County, Russell was a big Grantham Town supporter. He was a member of the supporters club and a fan since he was five years old.

He went to their old ground, London Road, for every home game with his children and they used to sell 50/50 tickets for the club. Russell’s family said that ‘Grantham Town was his biggest pride and joy’.

The family also said: “He was a very friendly chap who had a great relationship with all the players and staff at the club.”

Grantham Town Chairman, Darren Ashton, also paid tribute to Russell. He said: “We heard over the weekend that our supporter and 50/50 seller Russ Winfield passed away.

“From everyone at the club our thoughts are with his family at this time.”

Russell was a massive part of the Grantham table tennis community and he will be sorely missed by his friends, family and the local community.

READ MORE: Grantham area news

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