London

Plaque for Wimbledon legend Fred Perry

  • 15 June 2012
  • From the section London
English Heritage blue plaque for Fred Perry
Image caption Fred Perry is Britain's most successful male tennis player

The former London home of tennis legend Fred Perry has been commemorated with a plaque.

The English Heritage blue plaque was unveiled at 223 Pitshanger Lane in Ealing, west London.

It was Perry's home during his Wimbledon triumphs.

He remains Britain's most celebrated tennis player, winning Wimbledon three times in succession in 1934, 1935 and 1936 - the last British man to win the title.

The Pitshanger Lane house was his family home from 1918 until he moved to the United States after his first marriage in 1935.

Although born a northerner, Perry's formative years were spent in Ealing.

He once described practising his tennis strokes using his umbrella on the 20-minute walk to Ealing Broadway Station.

The unveiling of the plaque, attended by Perry's friend and tennis commentator John Barrett, comes just over a week before the start of the 126th Wimbledon Championships.

'Sadness and elation'

Perry's daughter Penny Perry said: "This is a great honour and it seems so appropriate that the occasion is taking place during the English summer tennis season, in a Royal Jubilee year that is hosting the Olympics.

"All of these things would have thrilled Fred because no matter where he was in the world, he always considered himself to be grassroots English.

"This house was the base of opposing emotions in his life lessons with the sadness of loss and the elation of success.

Image caption The plaque unveiling for Fred Perry was attended by his daughter Penny and grandson John

"It was also from here that many of the friendships were formed that would last Fred his entire lifetime, and he would be extremely proud today."

Born in Stockport, Perry is acclaimed as the most successful male tennis player Britain has ever produced and considered by some as one of the greatest male players ever.

To his Wimbledon titles he added the men's singles championships of the United States (1933, 1934 and 1936), Australia (1934) and France (1935) and was also a key player in the Great Britain team that won the Davis Cup for four years running (1933-6).

He later moved to the US and went on to found Fred Perry Sportswear with businessman Theodore "Tibby" Wegner.

He died in 1995.

A bronze statue of Fred Perry was erected at Wimbledon's All England Lawn Tennis Club in 1984 to mark the 50th anniversary of his first singles championship.

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