Leicestershire tennis coach uncovers fascinating story

Bruce Tarran - author of George Hillyard - The Man Who Moved Wimbledon
Bruce Tarran - author of George Hillyard - The Man Who Moved Wimbledon

FOR Bruce Tarran, telling the story of the Hillyards was a labour of love.

A lifelong tennis player, he is still deeply in love with the sport and has become an avid collector of tennis literature.

Bruce represented Leicestershire as a junior, a senior and veteran, and for the past 25 years he has become a successful coach. He is currently head coach at the Leicestershire Lawn Tennis Club.

His idea for the book evolved through his interest in tennis and local history, thumbing through books for mentions of his club in Leicester and discovering a recurring name.

As the idea took shape, Bruce became indebted to Michael Charles, the present day owner of the Hillyards’ home - the Elms - who provided access to a treasure trove of photos from the Hillyards’ own archive.

He said: “At first I was mostly searching for mentions of my new club. A name which appeared with remarkable regularity was George Hillyard.

“His achievements were immense. He was an international-class performer at many sports, most notably tennis and cricket, and he also had a huge impact in the world of tennis in general that continues to resound today, particularly at Wimbledon.

“I would love to have a chat with George and certainly give him a set or two of tennis.”

George Hillyard - The Man Who Moved Wimbledon, published by Troubador, is priced at £16.99 www.troubador.co.uk