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Unaware they made tennis history

BASFORD Tennis Club officials were taken by surprise this week with the news that their club had created history in Staffordshire Lawn Tennis circles by this year’s achievements.

I found them oblivious to the fact that Basford’s feat of landing a “double double” last summer had been unsurpassed since county team competitions began in the 1920’s.

Basford have enjoyed previous successes in both the men’s championship and cup, as have the ladies in their corresponding events, but never before have they swept the board.

Now, the men are the proud owners of the Purdy Cup for the league championship and the Alsop Knock-out Cup, while the ladies are holders of both the Royal Doulton Championship Cup and Joseph Cup.

The men’s title, also won ‘last year, was retained at a price, because Basford’s second team, affected by senior calls, were relegated.

“It was unfortunate that we were hit by injuries and unavailability,” said first-team squad member Andrew Roddy. “We had to call on second-team players at times.

“Once a second-team man has played a number of first-team games he can no longer play in the second team, so they rather suffered that way.”

Spearheaded by captain Peter Plant, Basford called on mainly a six-man squad throughout the season in which they were beaten only twice, by Endon and Woodfield both when below full strength.

Apart from newcomer Roger Williams, a school-master who moved into the area from Stockport, the players have been together as a team for several seasons, although Ray Booth was forced out of action midway through the season with, appropriately enough, “tennis elbow.”

Others to figure in Basford’s successes were Martin Hollins and Don Colclough, who are both established members of the club who modestly, claim a “reasonable standard” of play.

Basford Ladies, unbeaten in their double triumph, were captained by Sue Hamilton and selected their teams from Wendy Barber, Marion Denham, Barbara Bloot, Dorothy Whitehouse, Jenny Eardley and Sadie McCallion.

Evening Sentinel, 01 January 1974
Courtesy of The Sentinel News & Media

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