ATP Sport Ltd.


e believe that it is inevitable that players will be seeking out the purpose, intent and objectives leading to ATP Sport Ltd.’s (successor to Alphatool Productions Ltd) foray into the production of Classic Hardbat equipment, namely the REISMAN CLASSIC Hardbat Rubber that has now been made available.

It started like this:

Mark & Lily Johnson have played table tennis throughout most of their lives as have their families and both are themselves third generation table tennis players, with their son carrying on the tradition as a fourth generation player.

It was fortuitous that Mark Johnson obtained the telephone number of the Legendary Marty Reisman and contacted him with a view to finding out what the players were really like during the Classic Era of the 1930's to early 1950's. From this initial discussion, Mark became impressed with Marty's total dedication to the Classical Game of table tennis, a dedication that never floundered throughout his whole career, and with his expansive knowledge of the equipment used during this period of time. Mark, himself a keen hardbatter, soon realised that Marty's expertise and knowledge was second to none and that his belief in the British Leyland Rubber as being the only genuine hardbat rubber available was absolutely correct, but sadly, supplies of it were diminishing fast. Mark discussed this with his wife, Lily Johnson, who acted at the time as Financial Controller for the Alphatool Productions Ltd, to see if her company could perhaps produce a similar high quality hardbat rubber.

After many conversations and between Marty, Mark and Lily and meeting keen USA hardbatters during the Gloucester 2004 Classic Tournament, Lily convinced Alphatool to commit themselves to restoring the Classic Hardbat Game by producing a genuine hardbat rubber with the playing characteristics of British Leyland. This has been extremely trying at times both financially and personally, but the new ATP Sport Ltd. is proud to have produced the Reisman Classic.


ATP Sport Ltd. does not see any profit being made from this venture in the near future, but is totally dedicated to producing equipment that will enable hardbat players to continue playing the game that they love. The Reisman Classic is produced at a loss in the short term but with an objective of gaining small profits in the future to further invest in the Classic Game and it is a ‘labour of love’ and not of profit.


ATP Sport Ltd. is currently reviewing the possibility of producing a quality hardbat at an affordable price. To indicate the level of commitment to the rejuvenation of the Classic Game, the woodcraftsman involved in this new project is the cousin of the late English Table Tennis Hardbat Player, Bryan Merrett, Gloucester, England, whose Slazenger paddle is on display at the ITTF Table Tennis Museum – it has the most unusual handle design. Again, this new venture will be a ‘labour of love’ and the craftsman involved has expressed his wish to undertake this venture out of respect for his late, great cousin, Bryan Merratt. Gloucester has a tremendous history in Table Tennis, having had the top European Table Tennis Team in the past whose players included Bryan Merrett and Ian Harrison (Cheltenham, Glos).

With this kind of heritage, it is not suprising that the Reisman Classic has been produced in Gloucester, England.

Lily and Mark Johnson

For ordering info see REISMAN Rubber.