Will Bayley

Will Bayley MBE

Athlete Information

  • Region

    Tunbridge Wells

  • Date of Birth


  • Classification

    Men’s class 7 singles & men’s class 6-7 team

Athlete main content


Born with arthrogryposis, a rare congenital disorder that affected all four of his limbs, Will underwent numerous operations at Great Ormond Street Hospital from the age of three months old.

He returned to Great Ormond Street for chemotherapy when he was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma at the age of seven and it was while recovering from cancer that his grandmother bought him a table tennis table.

The rest, as they say, is history. Will won his first major title at the European Championships in 2011 then took silver in London 2012 and followed that by becoming World champion in 2014 and Paralympic champion in 2016.

In December 2016 Will was awarded the Bill McGowran Trophy for ‘outstanding achievement in Paralympic sport by a male athlete’ by the Sports Journalists Association and he received an MBE in the New Year Honours List.

He reclaimed the World number one ranking in men’s class 7 after winning tournaments in Italy, Slovenia and Japan in 2019 and later that year won the hearts of the nation as a contestant on BBC TV’s Strictly Come Dancing.

At Tokyo 2020 Will won two silver medals being defeated 3-1 in a hard fought final by China’s Yan Shuo in the MS7 singles and achieving the same result with Paul Karabardak in the class 7 doubles.

Career Highlights

Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games

  • men’s singles (class 7) Silver
  • men’s doubles (class 7) Silver

Rio 2016 Paralympic Games

  • men’s singles (class 7); Bronze,
  • men’s teams (class 6-8) Gold

London 2012 Paralympic Games

  • men’s singles (class 7); Bronze
  • men’s teams (class 6-8) Silver

2019: Japan Open – gold, men’s singles (class 7)

Slovenia Open - gold, men’s singles (class 7)

Lignano Master Open, Italy – gold, men’s singles (class 7)

2017: European Championships, Lasko, Slovenia – bronze, men’s singles (class 7)

Bayreuth Open, Germany – gold, men’s singles (class 7)

2016: Slovenia Open - gold, men’s singles (class 7)

2015: European Championships, Vejle, Denmark - silver, men’s singles (class 7); silver, men’s teams (class 7)

2014: World Championships, Beijing, China - gold, men’s singles (class 7); bronze, men’s teams (class 6-7)

Slovenia Open - gold, men’s singles (class 7); gold men’s teams (class 7)

Lignano Master Open, Italy - gold, men’s singles (class 7)

2013: European Championships, Lignano, Italy - silver, men’s singles (class 7); bronze, men’s teams (class 7)

2011: European Championships, Split, Croatia - gold, men’s singles (class 7), silver, men’s teams (class 7)Will Bayley created one of the most memorable moments of Rio 2016 for ParalympicsGB when he won gold in the men’s class 7 event, beating home favourite Israel Pereira Stroh in four sets.

Share this page

Related Articles