It’s quotes, Jim. But not as we know them (Mr Spock)

It was in 1977, aged 22 and covered in chicken pox, that I watched Wimbledon as Virginia Wade, the last British player to win a singles championship, took the Ladies’ championship.

She played Betty Stove in the final and it wasn’t the best game of tennis I’ve watched. I was a big fan of the wonderful Jelly-Bean King.

As a teenager, Wimbledon would inspire me to grab my Dunlop racquet and head, with friends, over to the municipal courts where we would pretend we were good. But we weren’t and most of the time we were scurrying about in the bushes round the court, hunting for lost balls. We usually had only two or three in total. Then it was back to the house for lashings of ginger beer... Did you see that Enid Blyton’s Famous Five never actually used the term? Just as Hamlet never said: “Alas poor Yorick, I knew him well,” Ilsa in Casablanca never said: “Play it again, Sam” and Mae West didn’t say: “Come up and see me some time.” Bet they wish they had.


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