Tennis enthusiast takes to court to celebrate 90th birthday
- Credit: Helen Wynn
Potters Bar Tennis Club’s oldest player is still going strong as he celebrated his 90th birthday with a special match to mark the occasion on Bank Holiday Monday.
Roy Rogers wanted to mark his big day with a game of tennis, having taken up the sport more than 70 years ago at the end of the Second World War.
Speaking to the Welwyn Hatfield Times, he said: “I had a brilliant time. A lot of people came to see me and they really looked after me.
“I said that I wanted to play tennis on my 90th birthday so I organised that and the family organised a surprise party for me afterwards and T-shirts for everyone to wear during the games.
“It was a very good day and the weather was perfect after all the rain lately. The only problem was I had sun in my eyes at one end.”
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With his friend and family watching on, Roy played alongside fellow club-mates Gerald Bloohn, 87, and Ann Walters and Joyce Prime, both 88, while the match was umpired by Andrew Billington, 72.
Despite a combined age of 353, the game proved to be a tough contest.
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“We had a game last year which was played by us over 85s,” Roy explained.
“At that time, the four of us had a combined age of 350, and we played again on Monday with 353 years, but it’s amazing how good the match was.
“Even at our age, we can still really hit the ball and get around the court.”
Despite celebrating his 90th birthday on Monday, Roy has no intentions hanging up his racket just yet.
He encouraged tennis players to continue playing beyond 60, and he is determined to prove age won’t stop him
“I have played tennis for virtually all my life,” he said.
“I started just after the Second World War ended because you obviously couldn’t play during it and tennis really died at that time.
“I’m still playing at my age because I want to prove to people that if you keep going and don’t give up, you can do anything you want. I would just say to people, don’t stop playing tennis when you’re 60.
Speaking about his tennis hopes for the future, Roy joked: “My ambition is to become the world champion, not because I’m the best, but because I’ll be the only one left playing.”