On Saturday, July 10, Rickmansworth Tennis Club, established in 1921, hosted the British Army national tennis team as part of the Club’s Centenary celebrations.
The British Army utilised the match as a warm-up event for their national inter-services tournament against the Royal Marines and Royal Air Force which took place at Wimbledon at the end of July.
The British Army featured ex-Davis Cup and European tour players, whilst Rickmansworth pulled out all their “big-guns” as well as a few semi-retired foot soldiers. The match format was six singles matches and three doubles matches, with the British Army victorious in a thrilling event, eventually succeeding six matches to three.
Representing Rickmansworth were: Joe Randall, Chris Grassick, Neil Grassick, Ollie Smith, Andy Parkes, Peter Manfield, Eamonn Bownes and Mark O’Brien. Team captain, Mark O’Brien stated that it was an absolute pleasure to welcome the British Army boys to Rickmansworth and that his team performed beyond expectations.
Liz Mills, club chairman, said: “In the Club’s 100-year history, many past Chairmen and Presidents have served in the Armed Forces, and it is thus a fitting tribute in our Centenary year to have the British Army come to our Club.”
The match was made possible by the dedication and commitment of the Rickmansworth Club Committee, match officials, umpires and helpers who all contributed to a memorable day in not just the Club’s history but also for the history of Hertfordshire tennis.