Hartlepool accountant and table tennis stalwart supports charity with book about life story
A respected Hartlepool businessman and community stalwart has raised thousands of pounds for causes close to his heart by telling his rich life story.
Keith Thomas, a retired accountant, Rotarian and dedicated table tennis ambassador – among many other achievements – put his life story onto paper in The Diary of a Disjointed Accountant.
The autobiography features numerous entertaining stories from his life from building a successful career to mixing with stars and promoting table tennis from grassroots to international level.
Keith, 72, a dad of three who founded Keith Thomas Associates, now Censis, in Church Street, decided to write the book as something to leave his grandchildren.
It is dedicated to his son-in-law, Andrew Sabourin, who tragically died last June aged 43 of a brain tumour with proceeds going to The Brain Tumour Charity.
The initial print run of 100 copies sold out, raising around £4,000 for the charity and Prostate Cancer UK as Keith has battled the disease.
Keith, married to Julie, said: “I was talking to a friend about life generally and he said ‘you should write a book’.
"I thought that’s not a bad idea because I’ve had quite a lot of experience of all sorts of things.”
He started writing it a few years ago and returned to it during lockdown.
Keith recounts experiences with entertainers working alongside DJ and events promoter Paul “Goffy” Gough, including helping to bring about a revival of the career of American singer-songwriter PJ Proby after a concert Hartlepool in 1991.
It began a long friendship with Proby who wrote an entry in the book.
Goffy wrote the foreword in which he said: “With his big loud laugh, infectious zest for life, and a huge warm welcome, Keith Thomas will forever be viewed in my mind as one of the real genuine greats to meet on my life journey.”
Sandra Deaton, chair of Table Tennis England, described Keith’s passion for the sport as “knowing no bounds” as a player for 40 years, coach, umpire and board member of the governing body.
He was also a team leader at the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Keith added: “A lot of people think they’ve got a book in them but don’t achieve it.
“I’ve tried to include as many tales as I can.”