Pam Butcher honoured by special invitation

Pam Butcher, her dedication rewarded

(Photo: courtesy of Paul Stimpson, Table Tennis England)

Winner of the Women’s Singles Over 85 category at the 2016 World Veteran Championships in Alicante; unfortunately, a broken arm means that England’s Pam Butcher will miss this year’s European Veteran Championships to be staged in Halmstad, Sweden from Monday 26th June to Saturday 1st July.

However, she does have an engagement to which to look forward, a visit to Buckingham Palace.

Pam Butcher has received the MBE (Member of the British Empire) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List announced on Saturday 17th June.

She received news of the accolade a few weeks ago but the honours list was only made public today; the award being made for services to table tennis.

“I’m absolutely thrilled and honoured and so are my family. I’m stunned really; I didn’t expect anything like that. Thank you to whoever nominated me.” Pam Butcher

A most prestigious award, Pam Butcher was very clear that the accolade exceeds all that has gone before; although she rates her triumph in the Over 60 event at the first ever European Veteran Championships in 1995, as arguably her biggest achievement.

Furthermore, more recently she was recognised by the Veterans English Table Tennis Society (VETTS).

“Last year’s gold medal wasn’t quite so unexpected because I had won gold medals before, although it was an honour. Winning the VETTS players’ player for the year was a big honour as well but the MBE is the icing on the cake.” Pam Butcher

The award comes at a poignant time for Pam, her husband Roy died recently after battling Parkinson’s Disease for eight years. She received the news of the MBE before he passed away.

“I did tell him but I’m not sure it registered. I hope it did. He would have been very proud.” Pam Butcher

She said she has no preference for which member of the Royal Family she would like to perform the ceremony.

“I don’t mind who it is, I will just be very pleased to go there because I’ve never been to the Palace and it will be a lovely experience, I’m sure.” Pam Butcher

The honours list in Great Britain is announced twice a year; on New Year’s Day and on the Queen’s official birthday.

Notably in the 2017 New Year’s Honours list the MBE was awarded to both Rob Davies and Will Bayley, gold medallists in the table tennis events at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.