A SPORTSMAN considered to be the best table tennis player ever to grace Clacton has died.

Clacton table tennis league stalwart Ken Gladwell died on March 19, aged 87.

The star won a record nine Men’s Singles titles between 1953 and 1974, as well as clinching three Men’s Doubles championships, three Mixed Doubles titles and five Veteran’s Singles trophies.

Mr Gladwell played table tennis for more than 50 years, finally retiring in 2007.

Clacton table tennis league secretary Tony Oswick said: “Ken was a gentleman both on and off the table tennis table.

“He was a top class player. But as well as being a player of class and ability Ken was always a true sportsman."

Mr Gladwell was awarded the Bob Phillips Trophy for services to the Clacton league in 1987 and was made vice-president in 1995.