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The brand new McPhersons table tennis team have held their own for the first few games of the season with a strong team including directors, associate directors, accounts seniors and tax trainees.

Peter Watters, the director who put the team together said: “The team of directors place great importance on activities outside of work and encourage staff to keep fit and healthy as well as have fun in and outside the office. Hopefully our team will enjoy this season and many more to come without humiliating ourselves!”

Indeed, two weekly deliveries of fresh fruit for the staff is a good start for keeping fit and healthy. The annual summer party, whether it’s a visit to the greyhound stadium or a game of mini golf always helps with team bonding.

Not to mention other activities that the team have been involved in such as Lashings Cricket and It’s a Knockout. It also helps that the firm operates a flexi-day, which enables staff to start later or finish earlier in order to make time for themselves.

Watch your backs, Division three, this go-getting team is determined to put their stamp on the league. Talking of backs, let’s hope the new kit doesn’t cause any distraction.

We have that Friday feeling buzzing round the office today and the fact that we get an extra day in bed as its bank holiday has us all smiling. So why not sit back and take 5 minutes to have a read through this weeks Fun Fact Friday.

Gareth Barry

Gareth Barry was the first person ever from Hastings to play in the world cup.  Garath started his career at Brighton & Hove Albion before going to Aston Villa which he went on to captain.  Barry signed for Manchester City football club until his contract expired and he joined Everton.  This is where you will find the footballer now.

Neil (Razzor) Ruddock

Razzor and his wife Leah live in Hastings. The footballer made his debut at Millwall FC in 1986. He had a long career with Spurs, Southampton, Liverpool, West Ham, Crystal Palace and QPR. In January 2015 a 46-year-old Ruddock came out of retirement to sign for United Counties League side  Wellingborough Whitworth.

Mike Yardy

Mike was a former pupil at William Parker and has played a part in Sussex Cricket for almost two decades, having come up through the ranks of the County Age Group squads. He was a part of the Sussex squad that won the historic County Championship in 2003, the first time the County had been victorious in their 164-year history. Mike cemented his place in the side during the 2004 season ‘Yards’ has played 167 first-class matches for Sussex, scoring over 9,000 runs in the process, whilst his 166 List A games for the County have yielded over 3,000 runs and more than 100 wickets.

Lee Richardson

Lee was a British International Motorcycle Speedway driver who was born in Hastings. He represented Great Britain at senior and under-21 level and featured in several world cup tournaments. He was also a fully fledged Grand Prix rider from 2003 until 2006. Sadly Lee passed away in 2012 following a crash in Poland.

Tulsen Tollett

Tulsen is a former rugby league player or the 1990s and 200s. He was born in Hastings but moved to Australia as a young child. He played rugby in Australia for Penrith Panthers and the Parramatta Eels. After moving back to England he was selected for the Great Britain squad to tour Papua New Guinea, Fiji and New Zealand.

Kevin Ball

Kevin is another footballer born in Hastings. His career first took off at Portsmouth before he went onto play at Sunderland. He played 389 games at Sunderland scoring 27 goals. In 1992 he played in the FA Cup final.

George Digweed

George Digweed MBE was born in Hastings. He is a 23 times World Champion Clay Shooter and is one of England’s most accomplished sporting champions. John is also the brother of the DJ Jon Digweed.

Shayne Burgess

British Darts player Shayne Burgess also comes from Hastings. Shayne first played super-league at the age of 14.  Nicknamed the ‘Bulldog’ he played in a nail-biting world championship quarter final in 2000.

Mark Davis

Professional snooker player Mark Davis was born in St.leonards Davis became professional in 1991. The highlights of his career so far are winning the Benson & Hedges championship in 2002 and the six-red snooker world championships 3 times.

Dean Hammond

Leicester City player Dean Hammond was born in Hastings. He previously played for Brighton & Hove Albion and Colchester United. In 2009 Hammond signed a three year contract with Southampton he then rejoined Brighton before being signed for Leicester City.

Nikki Bull

Another Hastings born footballer Nikki Bull started his career as a school boy at Aston Villa.  Nikki had spells with QPR and Hayes. Bull then moved onto Aldershot where he was named Keeper of the Year. He signed for Brentford in 2009 for a year before moving onto Whycombe Wanderers. Nikki currently plays for Margate.

Paul Smith

Smith began his career with Hastings Town before being snapped up by Nottingham Forest. Paul failed to make the first team of Nottingham Forest so moved to Lincoln City. Unfortunately due to back injury’s he had to retire but made a comeback in 2004 for Llkeston Town before moving on to Sheffield and finally Galpwell.


FirmBalls is the first five-a-side league designed specifically for businesses and professionals it is based on the premise of ‘networking through football’ and the central idea is in providing a relaxed and competitive environment for professionals of all types to play football which has been great success in the other area they have been set up in.


Join the Local Business Football League

FirmBalls allows businesses to provide a team building environment and regular exercise for their staff as well as allowing those professionals to directly network and market the business. As well as the leagues they also host regular networking events that include, drinks nights, quiz nights and golf days. Since launching in 2011, Firmballs have been running 10 successful leagues across Sussex continually providing the core elements of the business:

  • Exercise
  • Networking
  • Marketing
  • Team building

Currently Firmballs are looking for teams and individual players to join their new and exciting Hastings & Bexhill league which starts on Tuesday 17th September 2013, from 6:30pm-8pm at Bexhill college.

Firmballs state that it does not matter if you have seen better footballing days, or still play competitively, you can play against other business people in your local area and build relationships which could help your company to prosper.

Solicitors, accountants, bank managers, estate agents, surveyors and many other professional service providers are welcome and for smaller firms. If your business is small and doesn’t have enough players then you could join together with other businesses to create a team. It only costs £30 per team per week, for a 42 minute game as well so is worth considering if you are looking to network and get some exercise.

For more information regarding the league and how to enter please call Sam on 07894 762304. You can also email Firmballs at sam@firmballs.com. Their website address is www.firmballs.com