Robert Fagan – A Tribute

It was with great sadness that I learned that Robert Fagan had recently passed away. Rob’s death came as a considerable shock to me even though he had been unwell since the spring of last year. Rob was one of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet. He was always welcoming and friendly to members and guests at club nights. He was a good friend to me over many years. He will be sadly missed by everyone who knew him.

Robert was an active member of the New Milton Table Tennis Club from 1972 until March 2020 when the Covid lockdown prevented us from playing table tennis. He did attend some practice sessions when club nights resumed on a restricted basis in the autumn of 2020. His late wife Sandy, a former club secretary, was an active club member from the early 1970’s until 2010. Robert and Sandy were married in 1976. Both of their children, Michael & Jackie played table tennis for New Milton over a decade ago.

For many years Robert was Chairman of New Milton TTC. Rob had been involved with the club committee since the late 1970’s. During his stewardship club nights and matches used to be held at the Masonic Hall. Following a fire the club relocated to Ashley Infants School where it remained for over 20 years. In 2004 the club moved to Mudeford Wood Community Centre which still remains our primary playing venue. Rob was always present at our club AGM’s to present trophies and shields to the tournament winners and runners’-up. With the onset of Sandy’s illness Robert stood down as Club Chairman at the 2011 AGM and he was then elected Club President.

Robert has played competitive table tennis in the local Bournemouth League since the early 1970’s. Of the 15 most recent seasons up to and including 2019/2020 Rob played in Division 2 during 13 seasons and in the remaining 2 seasons he played in Division 1. The best moment was in 2015 when Rob Fagan, Terry Jenvey, Chris Pusey & Kai Major won the final of the Times & Directory Plate Competition in a fiercely competitive match against Bournemouth Sports. The final occasion when Robert played competitively was in a league match between New Milton D and Broadstone in March 2020. New Milton D won the match with Rob winning one game. About 25 years ago I felt privileged to play in the same team as Rob Fagan and Terry Jenvey in Division 3 when Terry returned to the sport.

Robert and Sandy ran a successful menswear shop in Station Road, New Milton until 2011. The new owners have continued to use the original shop name of Fagan’s.

Robert was also heavily involved with the Bashley (Rydal) Cricket Club. He was a frequent visitor at the Rose Bowl, the home of Hampshire County Cricket.

The funeral for Robert Fagan took place at 10.00 am Friday 22nd April at Hinton Park Woodland Burial Ground. There were over 60 mourners present including 15 current and former table tennis players. During the tribute the minister said that Bob felt his proudest sporting moment was at the BDTTA Presentation Evening in 2013 when he received the Elsie Carrington Award for sportsmanship.

Author: Bev Scott-Johns

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