Remembering Paul Lyall: Paralympic Legend of British Table Tennis

Remembering Double Paralympic Gold Medalist Paul Lyall

On December 24th, the British table tennis community mourned the passing of double Paralympic gold medalist Paul Lyall, who was 77 years old. Lyall was a pioneering figure in the sport, having competed at the 1964 Paralympic Games in Tokyo after being paralyzed in 1960 due to severe spinal injuries.

At the 1964 Tokyo Paralympics, Lyall showcased his exceptional skills, winning the gold medal in the men’s singles class B competition. He also claimed a bronze medal in the men’s doubles class B tournament, partnering with Hugh Stewart MacKenzie. Two years later, Lyall continued his dominance, winning gold in both the singles and doubles events at the 1966 Commonwealth Games in Kingston, Jamaica, with Philip Lewis, the current President of British Para Table Tennis (BPTT).

Lyall’s Paralympic success continued in 1968, when he traveled to Tel Aviv and captured another gold medal, as well as a silver in the doubles event with George Monahan.

His final Paralympic appearance came in 1972 in Heidelberg, where he won two bronze medals, in the singles and men’s team class four with Neil McDonald.

After his defeat in the singles event to American player Mike Dempsey, Lyall decided to retire from national and international table tennis competition. The BPTT has expressed its condolences to Lyall’s family and made a donation to the Stoke Mandeville Hospital Spinal Injuries Unit in his honor, recognizing his significant contributions to the sport and the disabled community.

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