The story of George Hillyard, one of the most important and influential figures the game of lawn tennis has ever known.
In 1887, aged 23, Hillyard married Wimbledon Ladies champion, Blanche Bingley, and based at their country home in Thorpe Satchville, Leicestershire, with its own golf course and two perfect tennis courts, they influenced the world tennis scene for the next 40 years. Hillyard was a close friend of royalty, an Olympic champion, an international sportsman and more. He presided over successive Wimbledon finals as umpire and helped found the LTA, wresting power over the rules and running of the game from The All England Club. His stance was criticised by members of the Wimbledon Committee yet he was appointed their Secretary in 1907. In this position he oversaw the move from Wimbledon’s original Worple Road venue, to their current home in Church Road, where he oversaw the layout of the grounds, resolving to make the courts the best in the world.
The story of the early years of tennis, and the life of George Hillyard, intertwine in this fascinating volume of tennis history. Close to 200 photographs, many stunning and unique, transport the reader to a different age when tennis was a new and rapidly evolving sport.