Sir Stanley a demon on court too

REUNION NIGHT: Friday, April 12 at South Shore Tennis Club
REUNION NIGHT: Friday, April 12 at South Shore Tennis Club
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WHEN he wasn’t terrorising left backs the world over, Sir Stanley Matthews could often be found smacking a tennis ball around.

His club of choice was South Shore Tennis Club, where he regularly played and where those who saw him in action reckoned he was good enough to turn professional if his football career ever faltered.

As we all know, that never quite happened, Sir Stan playing until into his 50s.

But it’s stories like that which will be told at South Shore’s Big Reunion Night, which is being held on Friday April 12 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the club’s move to its present site at Midgeland Road (in 1973, when Jimmy Armfield cut the ribbon on the new premises).

Chris Turner, who runs the bar, and who has helped organise the reunion, remembers the days when Matthews was a regular on the courts.

“He was an excellent player, really good, and obviously one of those blokes who excelled at any sport he turned his hand to.” said Chris. “And his lad, Stanley jnr, was a fine player too.

“The pair of them used to play at the club all the time and Stanley jnr went on to win Junior Wimbledon. He was 14 when he won it, which isn’t bad considering it is open to under 18s.

“He moved abroad to the States and played there, made a good living out of it.”

But enough about the Matthews, this night - which will features live music, food, a comedian and a disco - is all about the folk who have played at the club over the last four decades.

“We want as many members both past and present to come down and make this a really good night,” said Chris.

“We’ve just had a revamp of the place and we are trying to get everyone that used to be part of the club back, and maybe interested in joining again.

“But first and foremost it is about seeing some old faces and having a really good night, so hopefully it will be a really good turnout and a fitting way to mark 40 years of the club being at its present home.”

Call 01253 767753 for further details.