Basford Lawn Tennis Club

Sport EnglandTennis Clubmark

Club History

YearEvent
1883Basford LTC was founded on land behind the Queen's Hotel, Basford. Herbert Heatley held office for 40 years, and is generally regarded as the founder. There were two grass courts initially, later converted to red ash courts.
1926The club transferred to the West Avenue site, with four hard green courts constructed by Sage & Sons, London. At the opening on 22nd April, about 500 visitors watched an exhibition match between Mr. Chithouse, a Staffordshire County player and a member of Stone Club.
1936Fred Perry played an exhibition match with H W (Bunny) Austin.
1950 - 1959Between 1950 and 1959, Basford's teams enjoyed considerable success: The men's team won the Alsop Cup in 1953, 54 and 55, and the ladies won the Joseph Cup in 1955, 57 and 59.
1959A new ladies' changing room was built.
1960With the opening of play for the new season after an absence of 6 long winter months of tennis inactivity, the Saturday Morning Group was created by four members on just one court... an activity that continues to this day, now throughout the year and with rather more members and using more courts.
1964-1970The Men's and Ladies' teams won the Alsop and Joseph Cups every year from 1965 to 1970, and then again in 1972 and 1974.
1969A men's 2nd team was started.
1973Floodlights were installed on courts 1 & 2.
1974Teams won Men's and Ladies Premier League cups as well as Joseph and Alsop cups. The first time all four trophies had been won by the club.
1976The club applied for planning permission to build two squash courts, but was turned down because of inadequate parking facilities. A dinner dance was held at the North Stafford Hotel to celebrate 50 years at West Avenue.
1977New mens' changing room.
1983The courts were replaced with new "Grey-Green" surfaces, which were officially opened by the Mayor or Newcastle and the Lord Mayor of Stoke.
1985Club member Andrew Foster was invited to join LTA training at Bisham Abbey. The club enters a team into the City and Suburban League for the first time.
1986The club held a dinner dance at Chesterton Community Centre to commemorate 60 years at the Basford site.
About 1987The Winter Ladder was introduced by past president John Nicholas.
1991After much debate, the decision was taken to invest in the new all-weather synthetic grass courts, starting with courts 1 & 2.
1993More funding was won, enabling the completion of the £93,000 project to lay courts 3 & 4 and install floodlighting on these courts.
Andrew Foster reached the Quarter Final at Wimbledon, playing Pete Sampras.
Club member Karen Dobson won the VW Ratings tournament in October, beating team mate June Fisher in the final.
Basford reached the quarter final of the Silk Cup Challenge competition, playing against St. Annes, Lytham, and Alkrington at Bramhall, Cheshire.
1994Basford enjoyed the most successful season in its 80-year history. The Men's A team clinched the Staffordshire League Division 1 crown, the City and Suburban Division 1 crown and the P & D Packaging Knock-out Trophy. The Women's A side became City and Suburban Champions and were runners-up in the County League Premier 1 Group. The club also took the City and Suburban Mixed crown.
1999June Fisher won the British Over 55's Singles, and captained the England Over 55's team against Scotland, Ireland and Wales.
2000The Saturday Morning Tennis Group paid tribute to Frank Spooner to mark 40 years since the SMG was founded. Sadly Frank passed away in 2008 after many years devotion to the sport.
2003Basford Ladies won the national Over 40's Interclub Knockout Plate Competition at Wolverhampton. Basford's team of Karen Dobson, June Fisher, Mary Hobson and Sue Winters beat Wolverhampton 4-0 in the final.
Basford Ladies topped the City & Suburban League and were also runners up in County Premier Division 1.
Sue Winters captured the Scottish indoor open Over 45's crown
2007Ben Stannard was rated 10th in the UK Under 12's, while Amy Ellis reached 54th in the 14 and Under group.
Amy Ellis played in the finals of the Under 14's, at Wimbledon (only a few courts away from the court on which Andy Murray was playing at the time).
Basford Men's team saw an impressive return to winning ways; the A Team topped City & Suburban League Division 2, and also won the Dale Cup. The B Team topped Division 4.
2008Josh Eardley, aged 15, won a scholarship to attend the Sutton Tennis Academy, run by ex-Wimbledon player Jeremy Bates.
Basford played an exhibition match against a men's team and a ladies' team from the RAF UK LTA to mark 125 years since the club was founded in 1883. Commemorative plates were presented by both parties to their opponents.
Basford Lawn Tennis Club was awarded "Club Mark" by the LTA, in recognition of the Club's efforts in developing its "Vision and Mission", while earlier in the year it was awarded "Key Club" status in developing successful coaching schemes, particularly for the talented junior members.
2012The club was successful in its application for a £50,000 grant from the National Lottery's Sport England fund towards rebuilding two courts which were suffering from subsidence. Two courts were rebuilt and resurfaced, and the fencing around all four courts was replaced.
2013The rebuilt courts were officially reopened on 7th April 2013.

There is only space for a brief outline of the history here. If you would like to know more of the club's history, the History Booklet, as well as having a wealth of detailed information, also contains an assortment of reminiscences and a splendid selection of pictures. It is highly recommended.