Born in Alloa, Scotland in 1935, Alex started playing social Table Tennis at the Alloa Y.M.C.A. at the age of 11. By the age of 15 he was playing competition in the Clackmannanshire T.T. League, representing Alloa Y.M.C.A. Most teams would be lucky if they had 2 tables so matches were held on a home and away basis. Although competition was fierce it was a very social game as the home team would supply supper for themselves and the visitors and many friendships were formed.
Alex was called up for National Service in 1953/55 but was still called upon to play in County & regional matches and would come back from the RAF base in England on weekend leave to play. Often hitch hiking both ways – that's dedication!
In 1961 Clackmannanshire League was absorbed into the much bigger Stirlingshire and Midland Counties League. The competition format was the same but of course teams had to travel further to away games but by this time Alex had acquired a car and was able to ferry himself and his team around central Scotland.
During the early sixties Alex and the teams from the Y.M.C.A. did well winning many trophies. Alex was Singles champion 3 times, doubles champion and in 1963 won the Merit Award for the player losing the least games in the season – 43 wins from 48 games. The team were also League winners in 1965 – their best year.
By the late sixties Alex had married Helen and had a young family. The other members of the team had ceased competition, so Alex turned to coaching. He coached in the local Youth Club through the Scottish Education Dept. TT was still an amateur sport so he had to register as a professional player which looked good on paper!
After moving house to the Falkirk area he was asked to join the Falkirk TT Club to help with coaching. There he came into contact with a number of adversaries from way back and enjoyed renewing the friendships. Falkirk Club met not only on a week night for competition etc., but had a thriving club on a Saturday afternoon where many junior players were coached. Some like his own two children were members of the Scottish junior squad and a few even represented Scotland at the Olympics – alas not the Milligan children! Alex coached at this club until 1995.
In 1996 Alex & Helen followed their family to Australia and settled in Palmwoods. He was introduced to the Sunshine Coast T.T. Club where he began coaching at the Nambour Club and still continues 23 years later in 2019. He was also a member of the committee for many years. He has enjoyed the occasional competition over the years and his medal for the 2019 Moreton Bay Over 75 doubles ( with partner Ian Oakley) is displayed next to his very first doubles trophy from 1958. After being involved in Table Tennis both as a player and a coach for 70 years and with his 85th birthday coming up next year he hopes to continue to be associated with Table Tennis for many years to come.