Lifetime membership for dedicated player

November 24 2021
Lifetime membership for dedicated player

BRIAN Smith, aged 80, has been granted a lifetime membership of Wells Tennis Club for his years of dedication to the club.

Brian started playing as a teenager in London on public courts and then for The Royal Dental Hospital when he was a student. He took up the sport again in his 40s, joining the club in response to an advert for coaching. Brian and his wife Tasha have been members ever since and Tasha has been the club’s president since 2015.

When Brian started, the club had 60 members. Today, 360 people play at the courts on Rowdens Road, both socially and for league competition.

Brian said: “I think that the best thing about tennis, apart from the usual ‘keeping you fit’, is that it is a sport that can be played for most of your life, so long as your knees hold out.

“I simply keep playing because I enjoy it and enjoy the company of the people I play with. I don’t like sports heroes but I do have tremendous respect for Arthur Ashe, who overcame huge obstacles to become the first black player in the US Davis Cup team and the only black man to ever win Wimbledon.

“To have been awarded the lifetime membership is very humbling and I am very grateful and hope that I shall be able to continue to be of some use to the club.”

Club chair Colin Blatchford said: “Brian has been involved with so much in the club over the years, it’s difficult to list everything he has done for the members. He is still as friendly and helpful as ever, and certainly helped me when I first started playing tennis at Wells.

“Thanks Brian, you deserve this recognition. Keep drinking the red wine and it’ll be good to keep playing with you for many years to come.”