Veteran table tennis ace Brian Hill has started the new season in style, winning the first Masters Over-70s title of the season at Sunderland.
The Wyberton-based 71-year-old defeated Keith Powell of Yorkshire in the North-Eastern Masters singles final, 11-4, 11-4, 11-7, and then teamed up with his regular doubles partner, Wolverhampton’s Ray Norton, to win the doubles title 11-3, 11-4, 11-2.
Even though he was up to 11 years older than some of his opponents, Brian also reached the semi-finals of the Over 60s event, narrowly losing to eventual winner Geoff Salter 11-8 in the fifth.
Brian is currently ranked number one over-70 player in the country and number two in the world. He is still high in the over-60s rankings, where he is ranked fourth.
Brian is one of only two players to have represented England at junior, senior and veteran levels and he has been ranked number one in three different age categories over the years - over-50s, over-60s and over-70s.
He was actually selected to represent England in the Six Nations on the Isle of Man at the weekend, but he was unable to go.
He ensures he keeps match fit with regular daily practice. He also competes in the Boston Table Tennis League for the Penmaen club of Wyberton and further afield in the Wisbech and Kings Lynn leagues.
There are seven Masters events during the season, with two more before the end of the year - the Midlands Masters at Tipton on October 17-18 and the Eastern Masters at Norwich on November 21-22.