Former Shropshre table tennis champ Grace Gee dies at 87

Tributes have today a former Shropshire newsagent and county tennis and table tennis star who has died aged 87.

Left; Former county sports star, Grace Gee, pictured in 2011. Right; Table tennis champ Grace Gee in action during her heyday.
Left; Former county sports star, Grace Gee, pictured in 2011. Right; Table tennis champ Grace Gee in action during her heyday.

Grace Gee, of Belle Vue Gardens in Shrewsbury, died peacefully in her sleep on March 4 after being diagnosed with cancer of the abdomen.

Along with late husband Gerald, the mother-of-five was the face of Gee’s newsagents on Wyle Cop, now Wyle Cop News, before they both retired in 1992.

Mrs Gee took up tennis while she was a science and mathematics teacher at Priory Grammar School for Girls in Shrewbsury in the 1930s and carried on playing for more than six decades, until finally retiring at the age of 73. In that time she played both table tennis and tennis at club level – and was a long-standing member of Woodfield Tennis Club – but also became county champion and played for the county until well into her 50s.

Mrs Gee was born in Ripponden, West Yorkshire, on August 6, 1925, but moved to Shrewsbury in September 1946s. She had five sons, eight grandsons, two granddaughters and two great-granddaughters.

Her other three sporting passions were cricket, football and the card game, whist.

Youngest son William, 47, said: “She had a fierce interest in sport as player and spectator. Her support of both Yorkshire County Cricket Club and Huddersfield Town FC remained constant to the end.

“She was really well known in the town and certainly during her time in the newsagent’s lots of people used to come in for a chat”.

Mrs Gee’s funeral will take place on Monday at 1.15pm at Shrewsbury Crematorium, followed by a wake at Shrewsbury Town’s Greenhous Meadow.

Mr Gee said donations will be made to the Severn Hospice and Marie Curie Cancer Care.