A Fylde tennis club has celebrated 50 years since its
pavilion was officially opened by three legends of the game.
Three times Wimbledon champion Fred Perry was guest of honour when the clubhouse was unveiled at St Annes Tennis and Squash Club on Avondale Road on July 25, 1964.
An exhibition match followed between Ken Rosewall and Rod Laver, the two leading professionals in the world at the time.
It was the equivalent of attracting today’s world number one and two Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal to a local club.
Fylde Mayor Coun Kevin Eastham, himself a keen tennis player and member of the club, and Mayoress Val Eastham, attended the celebrations to mark the anniversary.
He said: “I remember it was a member of the club called Gordon Hargreaves who arranged the opening. He had a business connection with Fred Perry. The other guys were playing in a professional tournament in Manchester and Gordon persuaded them to come to St Annes for the price of a good meal, I believe.
“You would never get players like that at a club like this today. But in those days, the professional game was still developing, and although Rosewall and Laver were on the professional circuit, they still remembered the amateur game.
“A lovely day was arranged to mark the anniversary, which everyone enjoyed it.”
Celebrations included a table tennis exhibition match between former Fylde champion Jon Ash and former England international Kieron Beswick.