GB Team - Paul Davies


pdaviesbioDate and place of birth: 12/10/1966, Bridgend

Home town: Bridgend
Lives: North Cornelly
Family: Wife Deborah, son Jonathan, labrador Max
TT Class: 1
Current world ranking: 8
TT Style: shakehand grip, all-round controlled and attack
International debut: 1995, Germany

Huge thanks to @ajosephmusic for writing a song 4 @GBParaTT - you can help to get "You're Going To Win" recorded at…

About 4 days ago from GBParaTT's Twitter via Twitter Web Client

Paul’s story

Welshman Paul first played table tennis at school and rediscovered the sport at the age of 30 when he started playing again as part of his rehab following a road traffic accident that left him paralysed. “Table tennis is good for co-ordination,” he explains. “I’m tetraplegic and I wasn’t sure how to hold the bat so they strapped it to my hand. I hit a few balls and they landed on the table and that’s how I got started. At first it was purely rehab and when I left the spinal unit it took me five years to adjust to life in a wheelchair.”

An invitation to a ‘Come and Try Day’ gave him the opportunity to try different sports and for three years he played wheelchair rugby until a shoulder injury led to him playing table tennis again at the spinal injuries club in Rookwood Hospital in Cardiff. Paul was selected to play for Wales in a tournament in Germany and a new career was born. Originally self-funded through Wales he has now been part of the GB system for five years.

London 2012 was his Paralympics debut and he nearly raised the roof of the ExCel building with a dramatic win to clinch the individual bronze medal in his class. “The buzz and excitement of London was incredible,” he says. “My match was the last to finish and hearing 6,000 people shouting my name was incredible - if only I could bottle that! The goal now is Rio. I’m mad for it; I’m training hard and very focused.”

Wheelchair table tennis presents a unique challenge on which Paul thrives. “Each level of disability and class has its own style of playing,” he explains. “Class 1 is about control, discipline and skill. You are playing against the disability of your opponent and he is doing the same - it sounds cruel but that is what happens. It is like chess - you have to outmanoeuvre and outsmart the other person.”

Wife Debbie has supported him all the way and shared his pride in his bronze medal in London.  Son Jonathan has also taken up table tennis and plays for Wales U21. “Jonathan and I are always discussing the tactical side of the game, different bats and so on. It drives Debbie mad.” In coach Neil Robinson, Paul has the benefit of advice from one of GB’s most successful Paralympians. “He’s the best coach on the planet,” says Paul. “He’s been there and done it and being in a wheelchair as well he knows how I feel. We didn’t click at first because we both had our own views but we’ve come together now and he’s fantastic. He could still play internationally today.”

Paul enjoyed another successful season in 2013 culminating in the European Championships in Italy where he took the silver in the men’s class 1 singles - losing to great friend and teammate Rob Davies in the final - and then combined with Rob Davies to win gold in the team event.

“It was another great year for me,” says Paul, “winning medals all over Europe and then reaching the European singles final and winning Team Gold with Rob.”

Paul recovered from a broken leg during the winter to come back in 2014 and win individual medals in Slovenia and Slovakia and take gold in the team event with Rob in both tournaments. He missed the chance to add a World Championship medal to his collection and defend his European team title through injury but is determined to get back to full fitness in 2016 and challenge for another Paralympic medal in Rio.

Take 5 with Paul:

Most admired sportsman - Muhammad Ali

Sporting event you would most like a ticket for- Rugby World Cup

Place in the world you would most like to visit - Brisbane, Australia as my eldest brother and family live there and I’ve never been able to visit them

Hobbies: cars, computers, family and my dog Max

What’s on your ipod - Lionel Richie, Olly Murs, Adele, Neil Diamond

and finally - Paul’s alternative occupation would be a website designer

2014 Results:
Slovakia Open - gold men’s teams (class 1); silver, men’s singles (class 1)
Slovenia Open - gold men’s teams (class 1); bronze, men’s singles (class 1)

Career Highlights:
2013: European Championships, Lignano, Italy - gold, men’s teams (class 1); silver, men’s singles (class 1)
2012: Paralympic Games, London - bronze, men’s singles (class 1)
2011: European Championships, Split, Croatia - silver, men’s teams (class 1)

Further results available at