Thanks must go to the Huddersfield Examiner for supplying information and photographs.

The Huddersfield & District Table Tennis League was formed during 1932, the first committee consisted of President Sir Joseph Turner, Chairman Councillor W.H Bolt, Vice Chairman Mr W.C.H Neil, Secretary Mr T Cruise, and Treasurer Mr H Hardcastle. The league affiliated to the National Table Tennis League, and it was hoped that a team of international players would be sent to take part in an exhibition game in Huddersfield later that year.

The leagues first season commenced on October 17th 1932, with fourteen teams competing in two sections. Teams played to the American Tournament system, each team consisted of five players all playing one another one game of 21 up, so a total of 25 games were at stake in each match. Y.M.C.A were the eventual champions.

Scores from the first weeks play: -

  Section 1  
Paddock Institute 0 Y.M.C.A 25
Meltham 22 Britannia Works 3
Oakfield T.C 17 L.B Hollidays 8
Y.M.C.A. 'A' 22 Rock Mission 3
  Section 2  
Y.M.C.A Juniors 13 Economic League 12
Great Northern St 11 High St 14
N.A.L.G.O 24 Oakes Baptist 1


In 1934 the league joined the newly formed Yorkshire Table Tennis Association, which replaced the old West Riding Association to allow all clubs in Yorkshire to become members. The chief benefit to be derived from membership of the Association was the league could, if they wished, enter two teams in a new Yorkshire Inter Town competition for club sides. This course was followed and Y.M.C.A as champions of the league were the first team entered. 

During the 1935/36 season Huddersfield won the first ever running of the Yorkshire Inter League competition. The three prominent Huddersfield players pictured below, along with R.B.Deane all played for the Huddersfield Y.M.C.A championship winning team. The other member of the team F.Roebuck, played for Oakfield T.C.



Individually, Sykes had been the most consistent player over the season reaching two singles and three doubles finals, But Bedford, who was considered by many to be Huddersfield’s best. He won the English consolation singles at Manchester in March. Bedford, whose game chiefly consisted of a rock like defence, waiting for his opponent to make a slight mistake, of which he would take full advantage.

In partnership with Hitchcock, Bedford had a fine doubles record, they had become Yorkshire doubles champions in 1933/34 and 1934/35. For his achievements Bedford was honoured by the Yorkshire selection committee to represent the county.

The leagues first KO competition was introduced during the 1937/38 season. The format was held on an individual player basis, and like a lot of modern day competitions, players received handicaps, with the leagues best off scratch. This new competition proved to be very popular with the leagues players, and sixty entries were received. Entry fee into the competition cost six old pence.

1938/39 season, the last before World War ll broke out, and play being suspended for the period, the league enjoyed its best season to date. There were now three sections competing in the league, and an end of season rugby stile play off had been introduced. The first placed team playing the fourth, and second placed playing the third, with the leading sides having choice of venue and table. Y.M.C.A ‘A’ played Y.M.C.A ‘B’ in the playoff final, with Y.M.C.A ‘A’ winning. They had also seen an increased entry for the KO competition that season, with seventy players competing.

The Y.M.C.A. players Deane, Bedford and Hitchcock, and subsequently Fletcher, Sykes and  Davies, for a long number of years had held complete dominance in the Huddersfield & District, regularly winning by 9 – 0. Their players carried all before them in the area, only Leeds in Yorkshire offered any serious challenge to the Huddersfield supremacy. There was great rivalry between the towns to add to the keenness whenever they clashed. With the break up of the Y.M.C.A team during the 38/39 season, chiefly for work commitments, and with the marked improvement of players from other clubs around the area, Huddersfield failed to have any success in Yorkshire.. Halifax had taken over the mantle winning everything before them at town and club level.