- Friday, 04 May 2012
Six sportsmen are giving the term senior service a whole new meaning after becoming Britain’s oldest tennis team - with a combined age of 448.
The Melrose Waverley Over-70s team train hard every week and regularly compete in practise matches against players 50 years their junior.
Dedicated Charlie Renton, 77, John Crawford, 74, Ronnie Garrett, 75, David Peters, 72, Brian Lumley, 75 and Mac Brown, 75, are all highly competitive. They are now desperately seeking a new team of Over-70s to challenge to real matches.
Retired textile engineer, Charlie, the eldest member, said members of the team, from Melrose, Scotland, were “fit as a fiddle”.
He said: “I think some people feel that when they get to a certain age they can’t do things like this anymore, but the exercise is what keeps us young and I would recommend it to anyone. “We want to play against other teams of people our own age for competitive matches but we are struggling to find any able-bodied men or women out there that are over 70.
“We try to mix it up by playing doubles while two people watch in a winner stays on set up. “Brian and Ronnie are 75 and they sometimes get picked for the league team against men in their 20s and 30s. They are both as fit as a fiddle.
“Also a couple of the lads are ex-Melrose rugby forwards and another two are former Gala scrum halfs, so the games can be very competitive.
“There are always a few heated line-call disputes that John McEnroe would be proud of.” Charlie added that the weekly outings to the Gibson Park club help members stay healthy and improve their game. He hopes highlighting his team will inspire likeminded veterans to take up the sport and get fit.
“The doubles games are great fun, but it would be great to know if there were similar aged players out there who we could play against,” he said. “Some of our players reached county standard, but we wouldn’t want to be taking on ex-professionals.
“I don’t know of any similar-aged teams, but it would be good to hear if there are any out there and perhaps a club further afield may be able to put out a team.”
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