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Walsall FC stars pay visit to pop-up ping pong parlour

People taking advantage of a pop-up ping pong parlour got to play against two Walsall FC stars as they paid a surprise visit.

Timmy Abraham and Taylor Allen visit the ping pong parlour in the Saddlers Centre
Timmy Abraham and Taylor Allen visit the ping pong parlour in the Saddlers Centre

The parlour is an initiative by Table Tennis England to encourage people to try a new sport, and officially opened in the Saddlers Centre on August 3.

It has seen a constant influx of visitors of all ages, abilities and genders playing on the free-to-use, professional tables.

The parlour has proved such a roaring success that Walsall Football Club players Taylor Allen and Timmy Abraham decided to get in on the action.

Walsall wing back Taylor Allen said: "I have enjoyed it a lot, it has been great to come down and play a bit of ping pong.

"We have a table tennis net at the training ground and I enjoy playing a lot.

"I would say I am the stand-out player, Timmy isn't too bad, Liam Kinsella isn't too bad and Conor Wilkinson fancies himself as well.

"There's a few lads that play to be fair, it is good to do something different to take your mind off things.

"I like most sports - golf, snooker, pool - it is good to do different things, play different sports and pick up different components that we might need in our game.

"The parlour is really nice. I grew up around here, I was coming into this centre when I was younger. It would've been good to have this around back then."

Saddlers Shopping Centre teamed up with Table Tennis England (TTE) to host the four professional tables in a vacant unit to create one of only three sites in the West Midlands where you can trial and play table tennis for free.

Mathew Walters, assistant facilities and centre manager said: "It has been really positive since it has opened.

"We expected a good turnout, but it has actually been a great turnout; seeing our community get involved, coming in and simply picking up a bat and ball and having a go really.

"It has been fantastic having our local [football] team come down to our shopping centre to promote health and wellbeing is important for our community.

"We hope to take this and move forward with further exciting opportunities as and where we can, this has been a perfect way to start it off.

"We have had a load of a variety of people attending this, from the older generations to the younger generations, families and friends, especially through the six-weeks-holiday."

The ping pong parlour is open daily, Monday to Sunday, from 10am-4pm and is situated next to Costa Coffee in the Saddlers Centre.

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