2008 July 3


As Andy Murray bows out, Wimbledon will be counting the profits. The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, which is responsible for staging the internationally famous tennis tournament, is actually a private club founded in 1868 as The All England Croquet Club. In 1875 lawn tennis, which was a game that had been introduced by Major Clopton Wingfield a year earlier and at that time was known as Sphairistike, (not quite so catchy, was it?) was added to the activities of the club. It was such a hit that in 1877 the Club was re-titled The All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club and instituted the first Lawn Tennis Championship. A new code of laws was drawn up. So comprehensive were they that there are virtually no changes in today’s rules except for details such as the height of the net and posts and the distance of the service line from the net.

And the Wimbledon shop (properly called the All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club shop) has a lucrative franchise – this year’s polo-shirts are a sweltering £30 each, but vintage Wimbledon polo-shirts are also selling on eBay so you might get a bargain if you’re lucky.

Andy Murray courtesy of Fimb

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