Athena Tennis Girl poster dress up for auction

image copyrightFieldings Auctioneer
image captionThe auction will be held on 5 July - the day of the Wimbledon ladies' singles final

The white summer dress worn in the iconic Tennis Girl poster of the 1970s is to be auctioned.

The handmade outfit achieved notoriety after the image, taken by the late Martin Elliott, was printed by Athena - selling more than two million copies.

The model, 18-year-old Fiona Butler, now 55, lives in Worcestershire, and was photographed at the University of Birmingham's courts in 1976.

The dress is expected to sell for between £1,000 and £2,000.

Nick Davies, director at Fieldings Auctioneers in Stourbridge, said he expected the "cheeky" dress to have wide appeal.

It was made by Ms Butler's friend Carol Knotts.

'Tennis history'

image copyrightAFP
image captionMs Butler, now 55, was not paid for her modelling

Now a barrister, Ms Knotts, who lives in Gloucestershire, said: "I used to get a monthly allowance from my parents and in order to make it stretch that little bit further, I made my own clothes.

"As I played tennis at the local club in Stourbridge, I bought a 'Simplicity' pattern and made my own dress, complete with lace trim.

"Fiona was a friend and one day asked if she could borrow my dress and racquet.

"When she returned them, she gave me a big box of chocolates as a thank you.

"I've had the dress tucked away in a cupboard for all those years. It's a little piece of tennis history and I hope someone might find it an interesting novelty item to buy."

Mr Elliott, who was made famous by the picture, was the boyfriend of Ms Butler when the photograph was taken, but they separated three years after taking the shot.

The dress, tennis racquet and two posters go under the hammer from 10:00 BST on 5 July - the day of the Wimbledon ladies' singles final.

image captionThe pose has been parodied many times, including by Pat Cash

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