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Member Associations - 19 Jun 2013

Fantastic retirement party for Richard YULE

Under great secrecy England Table Tennis Association prepared the celebratory retirement party for Richard YULE, ETTA CEO, which took place in London. The fantastic party gathered a number of YULE ‘s colleagues, ex colleagues, players, officials, family a

Under great secrecy England Table Tennis Association prepared the celebratory retirement party for Richard YULE, ETTA CEO, which took place in London. The fantastic party gathered a number of YULE ‘s colleagues, ex colleagues, players, officials, family and friends for this most auspicious of occasions. In the company of friends YULE enjoyed some nostalgia, re-acquaint himself with old and current friends and listened to some accolades and recollections of his life.

“This has been an unbelievable day that I will treasure forever. To see so many people past and present from all over the world has just blown me away. I was so surprised and am so grateful,” said Mr YULE.

ETTU President Stefano BOSI showed respect for Richard YULE’s great career. “Although not being with you physically, I’m very much involved with the party organized to celebrate your retirement and I wish to recommend you to restart TT and practice a little bit more your “forehand” …Concerning the backhand … It is not necessary…,”joked President BOSI.

In the letter President BOSI stated: “I remember so well your backhand, when you were blocking my topspin…We were both very young and probably no one of us, at that time, was thinking we spent our life to Table Tennis. Yes, a life to the sport we were dedicating our youngness …The day anyone of us decides to stop working, looks like a window opened on a new life. I’m sure there are plenty of things you would have been happy to do, but you didn’t. Well, it’s now their turn, to enjoy “normal” life, your innermost feelings and best friendships more. Of course, after years and years of intense work as ETTA Chief Officer, it’s time to take some rest, but never stopping to enjoy our beloved sport. I’m sure you’ll not make us missing your support, your experience, your cleverness, as Table Tennis has never been our job, it’s our life. On behalf of the European Table Tennis Union, I’ve the privilege to address our warmest “thank you, Richard” for all what you did and will do in favor of our sport. Personally, I feel extremely proud of your friendship and I can perceive the emotions you’re experiencing tonight. I read a clever quotes about retirement somewhere: “The trouble with retirement is that you never get a day off.” And I thought out loud: “If a problem can’t be solved, what’s the point in worrying?”

YULE’s table tennis career was long and illustrious – he took up the sport at about 12 years old and he has recounted how he was reprimanded at school for reading from a book by the great Victor BARNA – at the back of the class. His career really began to blossom following his breakthrough aged 17 at the Perth Open – however it was nearly not to be as on the morning of the tournament it was snowing heavily and his lift had decided that it was too dangerous to drive. Unperturbed, resourceful and determined – he put on his wellies and hitch-hiked, arriving late but nevertheless making an impact by beating Stewart DOWNEY (Northumberland) and reached the semi finals. This proved a stepping stone for his senior debut for Scotland against Wales in 1970 and he went on to serve them with great distinction winning 285 caps thus making him the most capped Scottish sports player of all time. Mr YULE’s table tennis achievements were too long to mention at the gathering, however as a summary the guests are reminded that he was 8 times Scottish national mens singles champion, numerous occasions mens & mixed doubles champion, won the Scottish universities, many domestic Open titles, and bronze medal in the mens singles at the Commonwealth championships in Cardiff.

In 1971 Scotland hosted and lost 5-3 a friendly to the mighty People’s Republic of China. YULE beat LIANG Ko Liang (former world No.2) and former world champion TSI En Ting . In 1974 at the Spanish Open Mr. YULE won the mens singles, team event and mixed doubles with Grace McKay. He played in 6 world championships, 7 European championships and 6 Commonwealth championships – in the process beating 3 England No.1s – Chester BARNES, Dennis NEALE and Nicky JARVIS.

Richard YULE retired from national level play in 1985. In 1989 he was awarded the Harry Baxter award for services to Scottish Table Tennis. Mr. YULE was French, English and Scottish national leagues championships. He was Scottish national coach, but also national coach of Ireland and ran national training camps in Belgium. In 1985 he joined the Scottish Table Tennis Association as Director of Coaching & Development and ten years later MR. YULE become CEO in ETTA. In 1997 England hosted the world championships – this was the largest single sport competition ever held in England – and the vast table tennis family descended on Manchester. Two days prior the Championships Mr Richard YULE become Tournament manager due to a sudden illness of the late Mike Watts. The majestic WALDNER lit up the competition, however YULE’s crisis management skills and dimplomacy contributed to saving the day. In 1997 Mr YULE received the AK Vint staff award for your heroic efforts in Manchester.

In 1998 he supported Alan RANSOME in the planning and submission to Sport England of the ETTA world class programme. Unprecedented funding to the tune of £1.28m per year for 8 years when Sport England invited governing bodies to dream their dream.

Respect for Mr Yule was European and world wide and the lists of guests today in London was impresive. 143 Attendees at Richard Yule’s retirement party included Adham SHARARA, Michel GADAL, Matthew SYED and famous English entertainer Michael BARRYMORE as well as volunteers, staff past and present plus family and close friends.

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