YP Letters: Wimbledon legend Fred Perry on Centre Court – in Scarborough

Fred Perry in action in Scarborough.
Fred Perry in action in Scarborough.
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From: Brian H Sheridan, Redmires Road, Sheffield.

WHAT a wonderful picture of tennis legend Fred Perry playing at Scarborough in 1950 (The Yorkshire Post, Picture Past, July 4).

As a 14-year-old, I had the privilege of being there to see the great man. Perry would have been 41 at the time but was manifestly in superb physical condition.

The occasion was the Slazenger Professional Tournament and he strolled through the field which comprised mainly teaching professionals, including famous commentator Dan Maskell, a fine player in his early days, who gave up competitive tennis to become a coach.

The venue, Scarborough Tennis Club, had hosted Davis Cup ties in the past and at the time staged the North of England Championships, an open tournament which featured fine international players. Also, in the early 1950s, I was fortunate to see all-time greats Pancho Gonzales, Ken Rosewall, Pancho Segura, Don Budge and Perry in exhibition matches there.

I don’t know who the groundsman was but it is no exaggeration to say that the grass playing surface at Scarborough’s “Centre Court” was the equal of its Wimbledon counterpart: an opinion shared by others old enough to remember.