State honour for table tennis stars

September 08, 2017

Two former Kyabram District Table Tennis Association greats have been honoured.

TWO former Kyabram District Table Tennis Association greats have been honoured.

Len Stone and the late Ian Foster were recently inducted into the Victorian Table Tennis Association Hall Of Fame’s country division.

Stone, Foster and Doug Crow dominated in the Kyabram table tennis association halcyon years in the 1950s and 1960s.

In this period Stone won five Victorian country titles between 1954 and 1961 and Foster three — in 1957, 1958 and 1960.

Only one male player, Ballarat’s Mark Smith has won more country men’s singles crowns than Stone. Smith landed nine titles between 1998 and 2008.

Crow, who won two Under 18 State country singles titles, was runner-up to Stone and Foster on three occasions in the open section. The combination of Stone, Foster and Crow also won the country championships teams trophy on three occasions for Kyabram.

‘‘We were only a small country town and we were competing against all the major Victorian regional centres but we were able to hold our own,’’ Crow reflected this week.

Crow said Foster, who was an orchadist at Merrigum and used a penhandle grip when playing table tennis, was the best country player he had ever seen or competed against.

‘‘He and Len were well above the rest of us in those years when there were other very good players in Graham Watt, Wally Dunn, Albert Adams and Ray McKenzie in the Kyabram association.’’

Len Stone, now in his 80s, lives in Bendigo these days.

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