Former Paralympic table tennis champion Will Bayley pays tribute to Queen Elizabeth II

Former Paralympic and World Champion Will Bayley paid a moving tribute to the Queen after winning gold at the Finland Para Open.

The Tunbridge Wells table tennis player has revealed he ‘broke to tears’ after learning of Her Majesty’s death last Thursday, aged 96.

Will Bayley paid tribute to the Queen

Bayley, who had met the Queen at Buckingham Palace, paid tribute after winning the Class 7 men’s title in Finland.

“To me, she was like everyone’s grandmother, someone who was constantly there,” he said.

“We heard she wasn’t well when we landed in Finland and then we heard she died the day before the tournament started.

“When I broke the news I burst into tears and I don’t know how you can have that feeling about someone you’ve never really spoken to or don’t know well, so it shows what an amazing person she was and how important she was to the country.

“I have so much respect for the Royal Family and what they have done – they have always been very supportive of the Paralympics as well.

“I have been to the Palace and the Queen has always greeted us with a smile on her face and has been very generous with her time at the Paralympians.

“I don’t take it for granted because it’s not for granted that it happens.

“She had an amazing life and I was looking to celebrate her life and all that she did, but it’s a huge loss for the country and everyone is sad about it.

“All of our thoughts and sympathy are with the Royal Family at this time.”

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