Obituary: Roy Evans
Saturday 23 May 1998
Evans turned the request down flat on the basis that both countries were members of the ITTF and had to be dealt with equally. In a counter move he suggested that China invite top Western countries to visit them on their way back from Japan.
It was a significant step in thawing relations between China and the United States. The Chinese sent their request to America after first seeking agreement with the State Department and the visit followed.
A year later, in February 1972, President Nixon visited China. It was as a direct result of the Ping-Pong Diplomacy - though Evans hated the slang name for his sport.
Evans was also instrumental in getting table tennis into the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, after a 10-year battle for recognition. This earned him the award of the Olympic Order from the IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch .
The elder son of the Table Tennis Association of Wales's first treasurer, Morgan "Mog" Evans, Roy played for Wales between 1931 and 1933 and was honorary general secretary of the sport's governing body in Wales from 1933 to 1939.
From there he moved on to become honorary general secretary of the International Federation from 1951 to 1967, before holding down the office of ITTF president for the next 20 years. He was named honorary life president in 1987. He was appointed OBE in the 1972 Queen's Birthday Honours list.
Evans's wife, Nancy, was in her younger days seventh in the women's world table tennis rankings, in 1938. They met when the Welsh men and women players were brought together for practice in Cardiff before a match against England in 1929. Together they travelled the world; in a book published last year, Coloured Pins on a Map, Evans related that he had been to at least 50 countries to promoting table tennis.
In the Second World War he had served as a flight-lieutenant in Burma. After being demobbed he went straight to a table tennis match between Cardiff and Newport.
Roy Evans's working hours were spent with the steel firm GKN; he retired in 1972 as general sales manager of the Bolt and Nut Division at Darlaston.
Roy Evans, table tennis official: born Cardiff, 8 October 1909; married 1933 Nancy Jackson (one daughter deceased); OBE 1972; died Cardiff 18 May 1998.
- 1 JK Rowling horrified by Harry Potter actor Matthew Lewis's raunchy photoshoot
- 2 As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
- 3 Saudi Arabia 'seeking to head United Nations Human Rights Council'
- 4 Georgia Army veteran arrested for breaking window to save dog has charges dropped
- 5 New Zealand 'the best country to work as a prostitute', says sex worker advocacy group
JK Rowling horrified by Harry Potter actor Matthew Lewis's raunchy photoshoot
Evany José Metzker dead: Decapitated body of Brazilian journalist and blogger investigating child prostitution ring found
Georgia Army veteran arrested for breaking window to save dog has charges dropped
Saudi Arabia 'seeking to head United Nations Human Rights Council'
The ten most unequal developed countries in the world
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
Labour leadership: Battle lines are drawn as members battle over party's ideology at first hustings of the contest
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Graduate UI Application Developer - ...
£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: B2B Marketing Manager (Events, Digit...