Club History

Originally, the tennis club was sited on the other side of the main road, near where the Scout Hut is situated. Like most of the local tennis courts at this time, these were a type of shale surface, which was very slow and needed frequent maintenance.

Two of our current courts were built in 1937 as part of the Edward VIII coronation celebrations (the actual coronation was on 12 May 1937 and was for George VI as Edward had abdicated). The Club also had the use of four similar courts in the grounds of Brockington school and the pegboard still has these courts marked on.

The nineteen sixties was dominated by two men, Graham Merry and Bert Cockerill who won four and three singles titles respectively while Ruth Norman began her reign as Club's leading lady. We should also mention George (slasher) Harratt, who particularly terrorised the ladies with his vicious spin. George, who stood about five feet high adapted his game to slice anything that came near him, killing the bounce, and on his 'day' he produced so much spin that he was unplayable. As we moved into the seventies Alan Philpott took over the men's singles with four straight titles while Ruth Norman began an unbeaten run of nine successive titles. During the seventies the rackets, also began to be refined, so that the small-headed wooden type that had served for many generations, began to evolve into composite frames, bigger heads and lighter frames.

We also saw junior coaching under John Yates so that children of the sixties members began to force their way into the reckoning with coached forehands and double handed backhands. John's son, Martin took over the singles mantle, usually fighting it out with his namesake Martin Hopkins.

Between the seventies and eighties, the rackets changed from wood based technology to metal and composite and the heads came in various sizes from the basic to 'dustbin lid'. It is worth noting that in this period Dave Webb played thirteen singles finals without winning any of them. He did, however do very well in the doubles titles.

Nineteen Eighty saw the arrival of the third court. This was the combination of many years work and allowed Enderby to play proper matches (three sets to nine) for the first time. The Brockington courts were now in too poor a state to be used, even for club play.

Into the Nineteen eighties, we saw Martin Yates win four consecutive singles titles, until he left the club for greener fields. The next dominant force to emerge was Mark Robins, who won his first title at thirteen and reeled off four titles and at the same time forced the men's 1st team up to division two. He left to join Carisbrooke, where he won the Leicester Singles title at the peak of his powers. He also became a regular in the county side for many years.

For the ladies, we saw Ann Cockerill, daughter of Bert, began to dominate, she reeled off two titles, married and became Ann Poli, but continued her reign, interrupted briefly by her elder, Susan. 

Into the Nineteen nineties, Martin Hopkins seized his chance and reeled off 3 successive singles titles, gaining his 1st singles title at the age of 37, while Ann Poli carried on her winning ways. However, the club saw many changes as Ann and Martin moved to join bigger clubs and the old regime gave way to an influx of juniors coming up through the ranks. The first, Matthew Newcombe soon established himself with two successive titles, while Richard Freestone and the not so young Robin Hall battled it out for three titles each.

As we reached the new Millennium it was all change for the ladies, with Susan Roberts and Vivian Williams fighting it out for two titles each before heading south to join Lutterworth Tennis Club. 

For the men, the noughties was still dominated by the emerging juniors, with Adam Jewell, who had lost to Robin in the final the previous year, finally reaching the top. Indeed, he was to play in successive finals, winning three of them

The Ladies meanwhile, had a slight vacuum. With no juniors to fill the void. Helen Phillips claimed two successive titles, and it was left to the emerging Francesca Gutteridge to battle her way to the top, winning her first title at only 14 years of age and then winning for the next four years before leaving for Carisbrooke.

For the men, the next emerging force was the lightning fast Tim Goodwin who won the singles title easily in 2011 & 2012 and then left to join Stoney Stanton Tennis Club.

Meanwhile, for the ladies, the steadily improving Mandy Foss began to dominate the singles winning in 2011 and 2012.

 

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