A TABLE TENNIS champion has died playing the sport he loved.

Chris Armstrong collapsed during a match, aged only 58. He leaves behind his wife, Sue, and sons John, 32, and Colin, 29.

The insurance broker, from Nether Poppleton, York, worked at The Insurance Partnership in Hull and had played table-tennis for more than 30 years.

Son John said: “It was a shock to the family and he will be greatly missed. He was full of life, active and always happy.”

John Temple, York & District Table Tennis League match secretary, paid tribute to the sportsman. “I am stunned and saddened at the news,” he said.

“Chris was playing at a match at the Railway Institute in York. He had just finished one game, then he sat down and just kind of slumped to one side in his chair then collapsed.

“One of the other players gave him the kiss of life and brought him round to a certain extent then he was taken to York Hospital but he was pronounced dead on arrival.

“It was a very traumatic and tragic event for everyone involved.”

Chris was described as “very well-known and respected”.

“He was just a good guy and fantastic at table tennis,” said Mr Temple.

“He was a very talented and determined player, and had made an excellent comeback after a bad back injury. He was the top player in his division and he always made a point after matches of having a chat and was a very genuine person. “It is with great sadness to everyone who knew him that this tragedy has happened.

“The table tennis league is much, much poorer for his loss.”

Chris had also been a keen hockey player. In remembrance of him, a minute’s silence was held before the City of York Hockey Club versus Acomb Hockey Club game last Saturday.

City of York Hockey Club president Clive Marshall said Chris would be sorely missed.

“I first met Chris when we were both young men,” he said. “He had been a member of York Civil Service Hockey Club since boyhood and had developed into a skilful and speedy winger and he and I became good friends as we grew older and moved down the teams. “Not only was he a good player, but he was also a good clubman and member of the committee.” His funeral will be held at York Crematorium on Monday, February 2, at 10am.