8 old members of Vincent’s and 2 other blues, who were ‘up’ in the
1960s, gathered at OUTC’s court in Merton Street on 6th April for the
2nd Vincent’s Realers Tourney. The inaugural event was held in 2013 as
part of the club’s 150th anniversary celebrations.
The 2nd edition consisted of a round robin between 5 pairs playing
single sets to 6 of handicap doubles. Some of the matches were very
closely contested, others less so! But the overall standard of play
was remarkably high. The winners were the lawners blues, Tony
Billington and Robert Dolman, by one point from the 1970 realers blue
pair of Jonnie Potter, who had not played for ages, and Luke Readman.
They and Judge Richard Bray are former captains of OUTC. Another
competitor was Admiral Mike Gretton, the son of Admiral Sir Peter
Gretton, the famous Battle of the Atlantic convoy escort commander,
who was, whilst Bursar of Univ, largely responsible for the survival
of the court and Tennis at Oxford in the 1960s.
After their exertions on court the players and some guests repaired
for a very convivial dinner at Vincent’s. They are most grateful to
the Vincent’s catering staff for the dinner, and to the OUTC pros,
Andrew Davis and Craig Greenhalgh, for marking and seeing fair play
throughout, and to the current members of OUTC for allowing them the
privilege of playing again on the court where some of them learned to
play. Its amenities are unrecognisably wonderful compared to those of
yesteryear. They also greatly appreciated the use of Vincent’s
refurbished facilities, some for the first time.
If any member would like to be informed of any similar future events
please contact the organiser, email@example.com
The players, and their colleges, were, from left to right in the photo:
Richard East (Brasenose), Jonnie Potter (Jesus), Luke Readman and
Richard Bray (Corpus), Peter Begg (Brasenose), Paul Butler (Christ
Church), Tony Billington (St John’s), Robert Dolman (SEH), Mike
Gretton (Trinity), and Richard White (SEH), organiser.