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on 21 May 2009
the achievements of the man were extraordinary ,considering the elitlst sporting world that he chose to enter . But the book gives us an insight into the life of a man who not only was a sporting goliath ,not only a man of great panache ,but a man who had he lived today would have been recognised as a role model supreme
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on 16 November 2009
Despite being a `tennis nut', prior to picking this up I didn't know much more about Perry other that he'd won three consecutive Wimbledon titles.
Jon Henderson has put together a fast moving and well researched biography which I found both absorbing and entertaining.
The account of his childhood as the son of a Co-operative Member of Parliament is particularly strong.
Perry was determined to make something of his life and having conquered the table tennis world in his teens, `lawn' tennis seemed the natural progression.
Tennis hasn't changed much in England over the past seventy years and the book reveals how Perry's natural talent coupled with his irresistible inner drive enabled him to overcome the sport's class barriers to achieve his goals. Following his third consecutive Wimbledon title in 1936, Perry turned professional and joined the US based `racket for hire' tour to achieve the wealth and worldwide fame which he undoubtedly deserved.
In summary it's an excellent read which will certainly hit the sweet-spot for any tennis fan. I would have liked more detail about his Wimbledon wins, but `nobody's perfect'!
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on 25 August 2009
What a fantastic and captivating book to read. It came to my attention via Radio 4's book of the week which the is main reason why I bought the book. Jon Champion highlights many things about Fred Perry that modern players still use in the game of tennis, like taking the ball early. Fred Perry had very little exposure in junior tennis yet still went on to become our most successful player and still is 73 years on.

Jon Champion highlighted the barriers the Fred Perry encountered that are still applicable to today and how the Wimbledon establishment treated in him respect of class instead of his ability as a great tennis player and competitor.This book will only not appeal to people who likes tennis but also those who don't. It gives a real insight into the man and person known as Fred Perry.

I was really sad when I finished reading the book as its one of the best biographies I ever read.
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on 14 June 2012
This is a first-class account of Britain's most successful tennis player, and no mistake.

Anyone who has observed the continuous Henman and Murray-bashing from the British press in recent years will know all too well that Perry was the last British male Grand Slam winner. But the story of Fred Perry's life and career - when tennis was a completely different game and based on completely different principles - is nothing less than fantastical.

It is a surprise to many that Perry hailed from relatively humble beginnings in Stockport, at odds with the perception of accessibility to UK tennis at that time (some would argue those perceptions still exist). Jon Henderson has provided us with a wonderful account of Perry's upbringing, his father's political persuasions, and Perry's trailblazing tennis techniques - as well as his playboy lifestyle.

What Henderson does so well in this book is provide a really evocative sense of tennis in the 20s, 30s and 40s; with lavish attention given to the seemingly endless cast of colorful characters that Perry played, befriended, or romantically encountered. Henderson also provides a tennis biography which is rare in the sense that it encompasses the period where amateur and professional players were completely segregated; where Perry's greatest battles and sense of self were as an amateur, the professional tour of the day is revisited as gruelling, and evidently less rewarding for Perry (certainly in terms of competition).

I have to say, after reading this book I did get the urge to attend some sort of 1930's soiree, such was the impact of Henderson's narrative. Fred Perry has ensured that all future British tennis players have an awful lot to live up to; and this biography is fittingly grand. For anyone keen to know exactly who it is that haunts Henman Hill every Summer, this book will be compulsory reading.
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on 20 July 2009
Really enjoyed this biog of the last british male champion of wimbledon.Having previously read his 1984 autobiography I found this a very comprehensive and interesting read.I certainly agree with the idea that Andy Murray appears to be cut out of the same cloth.
Mike Geraghty Tennis Coach
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on 25 March 2013
Fred Perry is a bit like the 'Ghost of Christmas Past' to those Brits who try annually to become the first man to win Wimbledon since him. This is an excellent book about Fred, and shows what a wonderful champion he was.
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on 3 August 2013
Again not enough personal details on his life but concentrating on all scores of individual matches would be more enjoyable on his life in Hollywood.
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on 10 August 2013
Was a present for my husband (who does not read a lot!) to take on holiday and he couldn't put it down!
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on 30 May 2009
A wonderful book written by a very knowledgeable author. Read it before Fred is not our last Wimbledon Champion! Good luck Murray.
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