A POPULAR table-tennis enthusiast has died at 69. Stuart Sykes “lived, breathed and slept” table tennis.
Born in Huddersfield on April 4, 1942, he grew up in the care of his late mum Bessie in Manor Street, Newsome.
He was also very close to his Aunty Gwen.
As a schoolboy Stuart developed his love of table tennis. At 14 he played at the YMCA and always encouraged his friends to join in a game.
After leaving school at 15, he became a woodwork apprentice and later took on a role doing jobs at the Yorkshire Post.
After his stint with the newspaper, he moved to Brook Motors where he spent 21 years.
It was during his time with the engineering company where he met his wife Doreen – who was also working on the shop floor.
The couple were married on November 13, 1971 and briefly lived in Cowlersley before moving to Deighton.
Stuart later worked at Huddersfield Sports Centre where he spent 15 years as steward, helping with life-guarding and other duties.
He had a large passion for sports and was a Manchester United fan.
Doreen said: “He would never miss a match on the television and Huddersfield Town was his number two team.
“Stuart’s first love was table tennis however, he just loved it.
“He used to run two teams when he was at Brook Motors and they played in Division One in Huddersfield.
“Even after he left the company, he never changed his team and still played.
“He would go and talk about their matches over a drink on a Friday night with his friends and pull their playing apart.
“Stuart was a very good photographer and loved to take pictures of the family and sport matches.
“He was such a gadget man, always finding new electronics.
“He had gained his coaching badge and was very keen to pass on his extensive table tennis knowledge to younger players.”
Stuart was also a member of the Canalside social club, previously ICI, on Leeds Road and used to enjoy a game of snooker on a Sunday evening.
He passed away exactly a month shy of his 40th wedding anniversary.
Doreen said he was very popular and was seen by everybody as a very “gentle man”.