Bobby Wilson


Former English tennis player Bobby Wilson has died aged 84. Wilson reached the Quarterfinals of Wimbledon four times from 1958 to 1963, and also reached the last eight at the French Open and US Open. As a doubles player he reached the final at Wimbledon in 1960, and reached the regional final in the Davis Cup. Wilson had the reputation of being the player who could test the top players but rarely actually beat them, which meant he was respected in the game but didn’t win any of the big trophies. His game was compared in its day to Bunny Austin, and Bobby Wilson’s 26 consecutive Wimbledon appearances remains the British record. His career started with the likes of Budge Patty and ended facing John McEnroe! He beat the reigning Wimbledon champ Neale Fraser in 1961, which he called his defining match, and would say of his own career that he lacked a killer instinct. During the 1950s he was also an outspoken critic of apartheid South Africa, writing on several occasions to The Times to defend the “spirit of racial equality”.

Last years Wimbledon final commentary noted that Wilson was in bad health, a fact seemingly only noticed by Willz and his 12 Lords a Leaving (etc) team. So it’s another unique hit for him on his team of twenty unique picks.

Bobby Wilson
22 November 1935 – 21 September 2020