General Anthony John (Tony)
Mottram
Male
England
1920-06-08
Coventry, Warwickshire, England
2016-12-06
Surrey, England


About

From The Daily Telegraph, 11 October 2016:
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/obituaries/2016/10/11/tony-mottram-top-british-tennis-player--obituary/

Tony Mottram, who has died aged 96, dominated post-war British tennis, representing his country in 56 Davis Cup matches and reaching the Wimbledon doubles final in 1947; he later became an influential coach.

The son of a leather-bicycle-seat salesman, Anthony John Mottram was born in Coventry in 1920. Tall and wiry, he showed an early talent for ball games, encouraged by his mother, a keen golfer. Although none of the family played tennis, Tony’s passion for the sport was sparked when a friend took him to play at Earlsdon Tennis Club.

Mottram first appeared at the Priory Club’s Whitsuntide international tournament at Edgbaston in 1938 at the age of 17. He was already tipped for stardom. Despite losing in Wimbledon’s Northern Qualifying event weeks later, he improved with every match.

Although World War II halted the European tournament circuit, Mottram belatedly fulfilled his promise, eventually winning the Priory tournament in 1946. He joined the Royal Air Force (RAF) early in the war and volunteered to fly.

Mottram resumed his tennis career after the war, but tournaments including Grand Slams were restricted to amateurs, with no prize money and only travel expenses paid. Lacking the private income of many of his rivals, Mottram funded his tournament play through journalism, as Observer tennis correspondent for more than a decade.

He defied widespread anti-Nazi sentiment by arguing strongly for the prohibition on German players competing at Wimbledon to be lifted. Mottram was reaching the height of his powers, his chiselled, Boy’s Own Paper good looks, attacking game and sportsmanship making him a favourite with the crowds.

In 1947, he reached the Wimbledon doubles final with the Australian Bill Sidwell but lost to the favourites Jack Kramer and Bob Falkenburg. In 1948, he was a quarter-finalist at Wimbledon, his best singles showing there, but bowed out to American No. 1 Gardnar Molloy. He also reached the fourth round of the French Open in 1947 and 1948.

By now he had fallen in love with the vivacious blonde international Joy Gannon, but both families opposed the match since she was only 20. During a tennis tour of Switzerland in 1949, however, the pair married discreetly, “almost an elopement” according to his son Buster, then presented their parents with a fait accompli.

Meanwhile, Mottram and the Surrey star Geoff Paish became the backbone of the British Davis Cup team from 1947. That year the Telegraph’s John Oliff lionised Mottram for playing “the best tennis since Perry”. He went on to win 30 out of his 56 matches.

Both men would have sons who also played internationally and when a young Christopher “Buster” Mottram played alongside Paish’s son John in the 1972 tie against France, it created a record: the first time two sons of Davis Cup team-mates had competed in the same side.

A courteous, intensely private man, who exemplified the old-fashioned virtues of modesty and restraint, Mottram coped stoically with losses from Lloyds Insurance syndicates in the late 1980s, which also affected Buster Mottram, Mark Cox and Virginia Wade.

He remained mentally sharp and tennis-mad to the end, commenting pithily on Andy Murray’s epic Davis Cup battle days before his death. He is survived by his wife Joy and their three children.



Media


Archive statistics 1939 - 1956
34
371
254


Tournament wins 1955 - Graz (Amateur)
1955 - Shirley Park (Amateur)
1955 - Sutton Hard Courts (Open)
1955 - Surrey Hard Court Championships (Open)
1955 - Cannes Carlton 2nd Meeting (Amateur)
1955 - Nice (Grand Prix Circuit)
1954 - British Hard Court Championships (Open)
1954 - Bad Neuenahr (Open)
1953 - Southern India Championships (Amateur)
1953 - Surrey Hard Court Championships (Open)
1953 - Shirley Park (Amateur)
1953 - St. Anne's on Sea (Open)
1953 - Essex Championships (Amateur)
1953 - Yugoslavian International Championships (Amateur)
1952 - Shirley Park (Amateur)
1952 - Roehampton Grass Courts (Amateur)
1952 - Tally Ho! (Open)
1952 - Surrey (Open)
1952 - Bad Neuenahr (Open)
1952 - Palace Hotel (Amateur)
1952 - Northern India (Amateur)
1951 - Surrey Hard Court Championships (Open)
1951 - Cumberland Hard Courts (Amateur)
1951 - Surrey (Open)
1951 - Shirley Park (Amateur)
1950 - Tally Ho! (Open)
1949 - Cumberland Open (Amateur)
1949 - Sutton Coldfield (Amateur)
1949 - Northern Lawn Tennis Association Tournament (Open)
1949 - Midland Counties Championships (Amateur)
1949 - Torquay (Open)
1947 - Irish Championships (Amateur)
1946 - Priory Club (Amateur)
1946 - Chapel Allerton (Amateur)


Tournaments French Professional Championship - 1956 London Professional Championships - 1956 Wimbledon - 1955 Lyon Covered Court Championships - 1955 Nice - 1955 British Hard Court Championships - 1955 German International Championships - 1955 Cannes Carlton 2nd Meeting - 1955 San Remo - 1955 Beaulieu Second Meeting - 1955 Northern Lawn Tennis Association Tournament - 1955 Bavarian International Championships - 1955 Düsseldorf International Tournament - 1955 Surrey Hard Court Championships - 1955 Cumberland Hard Courts - 1955 Ortisei - 1955 Pedavena - 1955 Travemünde International - 1955 Graz - 1955 Durham County Championships - 1955 Shirley Park - 1955 Sutton Coldfield - 1955 Sutton Hard Courts - 1955 Varese - 1955 Wimbledon - 1954 Roland Garros - 1954 Venizia (Venice International Tournament) - 1954 Yugoslavian International Championships - 1954 British Hard Court Championships - 1954 German International Championships - 1954 Argentina International Championships - 1954 Deauville - 1954 Baden-Baden - 1954 Northern Lawn Tennis Association Tournament - 1954 Caribbean Championships - 1954 Caribe Hilton Championships - 1954 Düsseldorf International Tournament - 1954 Good Neighbor Tournament - 1954 Kingston International Invitation - 1954 Colombia International - 1954 Masters Invitation - 1954 Cortina D'Ampezzo - 1954 Ortisei - 1954 Durham County Championships - 1954 Bad Neuenahr - 1954 Wimbledon - 1953 Venizia (Venice International Tournament) - 1953 Yugoslavian International Championships - 1953 German International Championships - 1953 San Pellegrino - 1953 Midland Counties Championships - 1953 Southern India Championships - 1953 Essex Championships - 1953 Baden-Baden - 1953 Palace Hotel - 1953 Great Britain vs. Belgium Exhibition - 1953 Surrey Hard Court Championships - 1953 Viareggio - 1953 St. Anne's on Sea - 1953 Cortina D'Ampezzo - 1953 Ortisei - 1953 Indian International Championships - 1953 Shirley Park - 1953 Bad Neuenahr - 1953 West Pakistan Championships - 1953 Wimbledon - 1952 Roland Garros - 1952 Philippines Championships - 1952 Venizia (Venice International Tournament) - 1952 German International Championships - 1952 Baden-Baden - 1952 British Covered Court Championships - 1952 Roehampton Grass Courts - 1952 Palace Hotel - 1952 Northern India - 1952 Düsseldorf International Tournament - 1952 Asian Championships - 1952 Köln International - 1952 Cortina D'Ampezzo - 1952 Surrey - 1952 Shirley Park - 1952 Tally Ho! - 1952 Bad Neuenahr - 1952 Riccione - 1952 Velbert Invitational Tournament - 1952 Wimbledon - 1951 Roland Garros - 1951 US Open - 1951 Eastern Grass Court Championships - 1951 British Hard Court Championships - 1951 South of England Championships - 1951 British Covered Court Championships - 1951 Surrey Hard Court Championships - 1951 Cumberland Hard Courts - 1951 Surrey - 1951 Shirley Park - 1951 Tally Ho! - 1951 Wimbledon - 1950 Roland Garros - 1950 US Open - 1950 US Clay Courts - 1950 Italian International Championships - 1950 South of England Championships - 1950 Asian Championships - 1950 Tally Ho! - 1950 Wimbledon - 1949 International Championships of Egypt - Cairo - 1949 International Championships of Egypt-Alexandria - 1949 North of England Championships - 1949 Midland Counties Championships - 1949 Luzern - 1949 Wimbledon Plate (Consolation) - 1949 Northern Lawn Tennis Association Tournament - 1949 Cumberland Open - 1949 Priory Club - 1949 Torquay - 1949 Sutton Coldfield - 1949 Barcelona International Christmas - 1949 Zurich Grasshopper LTC - 1949 Lugano Lido Tournament - 1949 Wimbledon - 1948 Roland Garros - 1948 US Open - 1948 Pacific Southwest Championships - 1948 South African Championships - 1948 Pan American Championships - 1948 Wimbledon - 1947 Roland Garros - 1947 US Open - 1947 Bermuda Championships - 1947 Pacific Coast Championship - 1947 Irish Championships - 1947 British Hard Court Championships - 1947 Wimbledon Plate (Consolation) - 1947 Northern Lawn Tennis Association Tournament - 1947 Coral Beach Club Invitation - 1947 Pan American Championships - 1947 North of England Hardcourts - 1947 Wimbledon - 1946 Roland Garros - 1946 US Open - 1946 Pacific Coast Championship - 1946 Irish Championships - 1946 Pacific Southwest Championships - 1946 International Club Matches - FRA - 1946 Pan American Championships - 1946 Priory Club - 1946 Harrogate - 1946 Chapel Allerton - 1946 Barcelona International Christmas - 1946 Wimbledon - 1939 Chapel Allerton - 1939 Heaton Bradford - 1939

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