Wimbledon champ backs Sheffield tennis club’s survival battle

Wimbledon Men's Double Champion 'Jonny Marray is backing Stocksbridge Tennis club's fight to survive.
Wimbledon Men's Double Champion 'Jonny Marray is backing Stocksbridge Tennis club's fight to survive.
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SHEFFIELD Wimbledon winner Jonny Marray has served up his support for a city tennis club at risk of closure.

The reigning champ – the first British man to win the Wimbledon men’s doubles since 1936 – has backed Stocksbridge Tennis Club and its ‘Save Our Courts’ appeal.

For the past six months the club has been raising money to resurface its patchy courts, which without improvements will become too dangerous for both coaching and leisure, putting the club future’s in doubt.

The club is holding a sponsored rally on Sunday from 12noon to 4pm, with members playing in fancy dress - and have been boosted by a personal message from Marray.

The 31-year-old sent words of support to chairman Martin Jackson, saying: “I hope you have a successful day on February 3 and raise a lot of money for your ‘Save Our Courts’ campaign.”

Marray is a member of Hallamshire Tennis and Squash Club at Hunter’s Bar, where his brother Dave is head coach.

Martin said: “We had cheekily asked Jonny if he could come to our sponsored rally and support our cause.

“But, although he could not attend, he did wish us well –and kindly donated prizes for our raffle.”

Marray, a former pupil at All Saints High School on Granville Road, sent a parcel containing signed tennis shirts and signed caps, which it is hoped should raise around £200.

The club hopes to raise between £2,500 and £5,000 during the rally at the courts on Linden Crescent.

Martin said: “Our tennis club is old and it is getting to the point where people are refusing to play. But we are desperate to keep it open and with £15,000 left to raise we would really value support and sponsors.

“The tennis court is run voluntarily and we actively encourage people young and old to come and play.

“We do not want to lose something which is part of our community.”

n To offer financial donations, sponsorship or raffle prizes, call Martin on 07906 516 869, email tennis@stocksbridgetennisclub.org.uk or make a donation online at www.justgiving.com/stocksbridgetennisclub/donate