SALISBURY'S table tennis scene used to be thriving, with more than 84 teams and 252 players at its peak, and one passionate coach is asking "Where have they all gone?"

Brian Wade began coaching young players in Salisbury in 1974, and told the Journal he was "very proud of how things were for a long time."

Flash forward 50 years, and things are very different. He said that the "loss of the activity centre in Wilton Road has caused the demise" of the sport in the city. 

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"Young people are not able to get the coaching like they used to, even in schools." He added.

"We coached 20 youngsters every Saturday morning. We had seven leagues, with 84 teams competing with over 252 players involved. And it was not only teams in Salisbury, but teams from Breamore, Winterslow, South Newton and Broad Chalk.

"We were even visited by England's number one, Jack Carrington."

Brian believes that the youth of Salisbury are not getting their fair share of sport in the city, with the loss of the activity centre, and other sporting facilities nearby, he believes there are not enough opportunities for youngsters, and nobody is stepping up to provide them.

"I think nowadays there is something wrong, maybe there is a lack of willingness, nobody is organising anything and it's not just table tennis, but there does seem to be a lack of a sporting scene in Salisbury.

"I want someone to bring table tennis back, especially in schools. We used to have outstanding players like Terry Bruce and Bill Moulding. We used to have championships and tournaments.

"Where have they all gone?"