Martin Perry

Date and place of birth: 08/05/1994, Paisley
Home town: Paisley
Lives: Sheffield/Dumbarton
Family: wife Siobhain, mum Avril, dad Paul, brothers Paul, Thomas and Jamie
TT Class: 6
Current world ranking: 19
International debut: 2013, Hungarian Open
Major titles: European team champion 2017/2019

In brief:

Having missed out on qualification for the Paralympic Games in 2016 Martin won his first international title at the US Open later that year. He was part of the team that won gold in the men’s class 6 team event at the European Championships in 2017 and went on to retain the title in 2019. In 2019 he set up a crowdfunding account to help him compete in as many tournaments as possible in his bid to qualify for Tokyo in 2020 and took medals in Italy, Spain, Poland, Mexico, Thailand, Czech Republic, Finland and China. Needing to win the World Qualification Tournament in June 2021 to secure his Paralympic debut in Tokyo he reached the quarter-finals but was beaten in a very close match by Kazuki Shichino from Japan.

Martin’s story:

The youngest of four brothers Martin has always had a passion for sport and played a number of sports before being introduced to table tennis in 2011. “My brothers always played football in the back garden so I would join them,” says Martin. “I played football through primary school but once I started high school I started playing for the basketball team and the rugby team and also played badminton and hockey.”

As a member of his school rugby team Martin was invited to a Scottish Disability Sport summer camp where he had the opportunity to try other sports, including table tennis, and where he met the person who was to have a huge influence on his sporting career, Terry McLernon MBE.

“I fell in love with table tennis that first day even though I could barely hit a ball,” he recalls. ”Terry said if I enjoyed it I could come along to Drumchapel TT Club and get some training and I haven’t really looked back since. Terry has coached so many promising players through his system at Drumchapel - the club has a great history and that all comes through him.”

In 2013 Martin joined the GB Pathway Programme and made his international debut in the Hungarian Open. He went on to win bronze medals in the men’s class 6-7 team event at both the Belgium Open and Czech Open with David Wetherill. In 2014 Martin won his first individual medal - a bronze at the Romania Open - and showed the progress he had made by taking silver in the men’s class 6 singles at the Cote d’Azur International and bronze in the teams event.

Martin continued to show improvement in 2015, winning his first gold medal in the men’s class 6 team event at the Romania Open with David Wetherill, and after taking medals in the Czech Republic and Belgium he ended the season with two silver medals at the Copa Costa Rica.

In October 2015 Martin moved to Sheffield to train full time with the GB squad and made steady progress, winning the Junior (U23) tournament at the Italian Open in 2016, silver in the Romania Open and finishing the year on a high by taking gold in the men’s class 6 singles at the US Open in Las Vegas.

In April 2017 Martin won his first National title in the men’s class 6 singles and was promoted to the GB Performance Squad. The following month he won his first major medal at his first major championship when he took bronze in the men’s class 6 event at the World Team Championships in Slovakia and in October 2017 he was part of the men’s class 6 team that became European champions in Slovenia.

Although he was disappointed to miss out on qualification for the World Championships in 2018 Martin continued to work hard and took team medals in Italy, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain. In 2019 he set up a crowdfunding account to help him compete in as many tournaments as possible in his bid to qualify for Tokyo in 2020 and took medals in Italy, Spain, Poland, Mexico, Thailand, Czech Republic, Finland and China.

At the European Championships in Sweden Martin reached the quarter-finals of the men’s class 6 singles and was again part of the team that won gold in the men’s class 6 team event with Paul Karabardak and David Wetherill.

“Paul and Dave ensured that we came out on top,” he said, “but we have prepared as a unit from start to finish and that is what a team does. It is brilliant to come away as two-time European champions and I hope that I can up my level in the next few years and come back to the next Europeans more in contention to get on the score sheet. But at the moment these guys are levels above and so I just have to keep pushing myself to hopefully one day match them.”

Having missed out on automatic qualification for Tokyo Martin went to the World Qualification Tournament in Slovenia in June 2021 needing to win his class to qualify for his first Paralympic Games and he was bitterly disappointed to lose a very close quarter-final to Kazuki Shichino from Japan, 3-2.

Martin was born without either forearm or the bottom part of his left leg and through his involvement with Drumchapel TT Club, which provides table tennis classes for young people from an area of multiple social deprivations, including those with disabilities, he was selected to take part in BBC programme The One Show’s 700 mile Rickshaw Challenge in 2013 to raise money for Children in Need.

“The greatest technology we have got is what is between our ears,” he said. “It is that mind-set of ‘regardless of this disability - whatever it may be - I can actually go on and do what I want to do’. So for me to be given these opportunities to coach and do charity work just encompasses everything that the Paralympics is about – it is about showing the world that anything is possible.”

A natural with the media Perry started a new venture in lockdown – PerryPOD – as well as taking a PRINCE 2 project management course.

Take 5 with Martin:

Most admired sportsman - Cristiano Ronaldo

Ideal holiday - Somewhere fun like Universal Studios, my wife may disagree with that

Three words that describe you best - Honest, funny, confident

If you had to appear in a reality programme which one would it be - Can I not just be in Game of Thrones?

Three famous people (alive or dead) you would most like to have a drink with - Sir Alex Ferguson, Barack Obama, The Rock

and finally - Martin has also spent time as a volunteer coaching table tennis in schools and clubs but has put his coaching on hold to concentrate on his playing career

2021 Results:

World Qualification Tournament, Slovenia – QF, men’s singles (class 6)

2020 Results:

Costa Brava Spanish Open – bronze, men’s singles (class 6); group stages, men’s teams (class 6-7)

Polish Open – gold, men’s teams (class 6); QF, men’s singles (class 6)

2019 Results:

China Open – group stages, men’s singles (class 6); gold, men’s teams (class 6)

Finland Open – bronze, men’s singles (class 6); gold, men’s teams (class 6)

European Championships, Sweden – gold, men’s teams (class 6); QF, men’s singles (class 6)

Czech Open – bronze, men’s singles (class 6); silver, men’s teams (class 6)

Bangkok Open, Thailand – bronze, men’s singles (class 6); group stages, men’s teams (class 6-7)

Japan Open – silver, men’s teams (class 6); group stages, men’s singles (class 6)

Copa Christina Hoffmann, Mexico – bronze, men’s singles (class 6); bronze, men’s teams (class 6-7)

Polish Open – bronze, men’s singles (class 6); 5th, men’s teams (class 6 RR)

Slovenia Open – L16, men’s singles (class 6); QF, men’s teams (class 6)

Costa Brava Spanish Open – bronze, men’s singles (class 6); silver, men’s teams (class 6)

Lignano Master Open, Italy – bronze, men’s singles (class 6); gold, men’s teams (class 6)

2018 Results:

Spanish Open – bronze, men’s teams (class 6); QF, men’s singles (class 6)

Slovenian Open – silver, men’s teams (class 6); group stages, men’s singles (class 6)

Slovakia Open – bronze, men’s teams (class 6); group stages, men’s singles (class 6)

Lignano Master Open, Italy – bronze, men’s teams (class 6); group stages, men’s singles (class 6)

2017 Results

Spanish Open – gold, men’s teams (class 6); bronze, men’s singles (class 6)

Belgian Open – gold, men’s teams (class 6); silver, men’s singles (class 6)

European Championships, Slovenia – gold, men’s teams (class 6); L16 men’s singles (class 6)

Bayreuth Open, Germany – bronze, men’s singles (class 6); bronze, men’s teams (class 6)

World Team Championships, Slovakia – bronze, men’s class 6

Slovenia Open – group stages, men’s singles (class 6)

Lignano Master Open, Italy – bronze, men’s singles (class 6)

2016 Results:

US Open - gold, men’s singles (class 6); silver, men’s teams (class 6)

Romania Open - silver, men’s singles (class 6); bronze, men’s teams (class 6)

Romania Junior Open - bronze, men’s singles (class 6)

Spanish Open - bronze, men’s singles (class 6)

Slovenia Open - bronze, men’s teams (class 6); group stages, men’s singles (class 6)

Lignano Master Open, Italy - group stages, men’s singles (class 6); group stages, men’s teams (class 6)

Lignano Junior Open, Italy - gold, men’s singles (class 6)

2015 Results:

Copa Costa Rica - silver, men’s singles (class 6); silver, men’s teams (class 6-7)

Belgium Open - silver, men’s teams (class 6); bronze, men’s singles (class 6)

Czech Open - bronze, men’s teams (class 6-7); group stages, men’s singles (class 6)

Romania Open - gold, men’s teams (class 6); QF men’s singles (class 6)

Spanish Open - QF men’s singles (class 6); group stages, men’s teams (class 6)

Slovakia Open - group stages, men’s singles (class 6); QF men’s teams (class 6)

Slovenia Open - group stages, men’s singles (class 6); QF men’s teams (class 6)

Lignano Master Open, Italy - group stages, men’s singles (class 6); 4th men’s teams (class 6)

2014 Results:

Cote d’Azur International - silver, men’s singles (class 6); bronze, men’s teams (class 6)

Spanish Open - silver, men’s teams (class 6-7); group stages, men’s singles (class 6)

Romania Open - bronze, men’s singles (class 6); bronze, men’s singles (class 6-7)

Career Highlights:

2019:    China Open – gold, men’s teams (class 6)

Finland Open – bronze, men’s singles (class 6); gold, men’s teams (class 6)

European Championships, Sweden – gold, men’s teams (class 6); QF, men’s singles (class 6)

Czech Open – bronze, men’s singles (class 6); silver, men’s teams (class 6)

Bangkok Open, Thailand – bronze, men’s singles (class 6)

Polish Open – bronze, men’s singles (class 6)

Lignano Master Open, Italy – bronze, men’s singles (class 6); gold, men’s teams (class 6)

2017:    Bayreuth Open, Germany – bronze, men’s singles (class 6); bronze, men’s teams (class 6)

World Team Championships, Slovakia – bronze, men’s class 6

Lignano Master Open, Italy – bronze, men’s singles (class 6)

2016:    US Open - gold, men’s singles (class 6); silver, men’s teams (class 6)

Romania Open - silver, men’s singles (class 6); bronze, men’s teams (class 6)

Spanish Open - bronze, men’s singles (class 6)

Lignano Junior Open, Italy - gold, men’s singles (class 6)

2015:    Copa Costa Rica - silver, men’s singles (class 6); silver, men’s teams (class 6-7)

Belgium Open - silver, men’s teams (class 6); bronze, men’s singles (class 6)

Czech Open - bronze, men’s teams (class 6-7)

Romania Open - gold, men’s teams (class 6)

2014:    Cote d’Azur International - silver, men’s singles (class 6); bronze, men’s teams (class 6)

Spanish Open - silver, men’s teams (class 6-7)

Romania Open - bronze, men’s singles (class 6); bronze, men’s singles (class 6-7)