Jean-Michel Saive guest of honour

Nostalgia in Belgium (left to right) Frans Lanckman, Jean-Michel Saive, André Damman, Pierre Juliens and Alex Rosmarin Photo: courtesy of Pierre Juliens)

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Now retired from international duty; nevertheless Jean-Michel Saive continues to compete in the Belgian National League; he represents Logis Auderghem.

Recently he invited the man who was once his mentor, André Damman, now a member of the ITTF President’s Council, as the guest of honour.

Good news and it would appear that Jean-Michel Saive has forgiven André Damman for making him sit on the bench and watch Remo de Prophetis, Thierry Cabrera and Didier Leroy be the selection time and time again.

A great deal of water has passed under the bridge since the 1983 World Championships in Tokyo when Jean-Michel Saive, was only 13 years old.

Eventually in the Japanese capital city, the kindly André Damman did select the eager teenager; the rest as they say is history.

We know André Damman as a coach and for many years the Chair of the ITTF World Ranking Committee but make no mistake, he was no mean player. One recalls he beat Connie Warren on one occasion, in 1967 the runner up in the Men’s Singles event at the English National Championships staged in London’s Crystal Palace.

In addition to André Damman and Jean-Michel Saive, present for the occasion in Logis Auderghem were fellow Swaythling Club members: Frans Lanckman, Jean-Michel Saive, Pierre Juliens and Alex Rosmarin.