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13 November 2014

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You are in: Stoke & Staffordshire > History > Local Heroes > Squash champ Angela Smith

Anyone for a game of squash?

Squash rackets.

Squash champ Angela Smith

Angela Smith is the Staffordshire champion of squash, making her name by playing and coaching. She's been British and World Champion in the sport but never lost her Stoke roots, as she tells us in her own words.

Angela Smith is one of the most famous names in British squash, and she was a top-ranked player for over two decades.
She’s won titles across the world for both herself and Great Britain – in fact she only ever lost twice while on international duty.
Angela was the first female player to turn professional, doing so at the age of 24.  By turning pro, she forced Great Britain to allow her to play for her country which previously only let amateurs play.
She was also one of the forerunners of the professional body WISPA, which governs the sport today.

Angela Smith Facts

  • Angela was born in Stoke-on-Trent in 1953
  • She reached the semi-finals of the British Open eight times
  • Angela was the world's first female player to go professional
  • She only started to play squash after constant rain during her tennis season

Stoke – centre of her universe

Not only is Angela a sporting champion, she's a life-long fan of Stoke City FC - despite supporting Port Vale at her first football match!

She even remembers the day when Sir Stanley Matthews returned to the club in 1961.
And just as the city's supported her, she supports Stoke-on-Trent and sees it as the centre of her universe although she's coached right across the globe.

Even her school friends would say the former Number 1 was competitive playing at home: Angela often told her doubles partner to serve and then leave the court so she could get on with playing!

Angela's story - told by her

To hear more about Angela's career and her love for Stoke City, listen to the interview she gave in 2008 to BBC Radio Stoke's Matt Sandoz.

In this 30 minute interview, Angela reveals, among other things, her highs and lows in the game - and even the surprising fact that, although she's been British and World Champion, she thinks being named the BBC's Regional Sport Personality of the Year is the highlight of her career!

last updated: 22/12/2009 at 08:40
created: 07/10/2008

Have Your Say


Thomas Jones USA
A great person, fabulous sports star. The USA would be a better place sports wise if Angela was still around a credit to her profession and her Country and most of all her City. Everyone in New York and beyond knows all about Stoke City.

T Khan
My family know this lady well. She was in many people's opinion. one of the greatest lady players of all time. She was also a great sport and a credit to GB and England. Off court she wa a wonderful person too. Not big headed in any way

Vicki Cardwell (Australia)
I played Angela Smith many times, she was an honest player of the higherst quality and the fittest player I came up against. without her efforts ladies squash would still be in the dark ages. All lady pofessional squash players owe it all to Angela's pioneering efforts. A true champion and a great sport. One of the wold's greatest ever lady sports persons.

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