The Graham Neilson trophy is named in honour of the former chairman of St Andrews Table Tennis Club who died in 2011. As well as club chairman, Graham was also for many years captain of the Prefects team which has long competed in Division 2 of the Dundee and District League. He was a club member for over 25 years and, along with Tim Grove, he was the first recipient of honorary membership when he eventually ended his playing career. He was an important member of the team (with David Eglinton and Tim Grove) that won the Division 3 title and promotion from Division 2 into the top tier in the early 1980s. As chairman, Graham also played a major role in drafting the club’s constitution in 2008.
Graham was born in 1936 and was educated at the University of Cambridge. As such, he particularly enjoyed those occasions when the Prefects team comprised a trio of Cambridge graduates. Graham was well known as a resident of Blebo Craigs near St Andrews where he had wide interests. Among other things, he was active as treasurer of the local community council in Blebo and an enthusiastic member of the bridge club in St Andrews. Graham was easily spotted in a crowd due to his trademark cap.
The Graham Neilson trophy is awarded each year to the most improved (or least deteriorated) table tennis player in the club. Previous winners are:
2012 Jonathan Fraser
2013 Nick Shepherd
2014 Dave Beveridge
2015 Howard Lee
2016 Emma Bissett
2017 Alain Leger
The trophy was kindly donated by Elaine Forbes and is pictured below: