LONG-SERVING Tony King has retired after 29 years as president and part sponsor of the Wildmoor Summer Tennis League.
Alcester man King has decided to call it a day having reached the age of 85, opting to take a back seat and allow a younger man to fill his position.
King became involved when as a player at Alcester Tennis Club he wanted to help the new league which had been founded by its secretary Corin Bishop in 1990, so in 1991 he offered to sponsor the annual tournament.
He was duly elected president and has never looked back. As a businessman at the time, he ran an Alcester company called King Construction and was responsible for relaying new courts at Alcester which itself was going through a rejuvenation.
King originated from Northwich in Cheshire and began playing tennis on the 70-year-old grass courts of Castle Working Men’s Club. He completed his National Service between 1952 and 1954 in the Royal Air Force and moved to this area in 1963 when he became business manager of Henry James West civil engineer contractors for sewerage works near Evesham.
In 1965 King left to set up his own business – King Construction based at Bulls Head Yard in Alcester – and he later branched out to lay tennis courts for clubs at Stratford, Ullenhall, Droitwich, Worcester and Ettington Park Hotel in 1992.
League secretary Bishop said: “When Tony first arrived in the area he played tennis at Stratford and later Bidford before moving to Alcester. He played an active role in helping develop Alcester Tennis Club as well as regularly playing in their teams, becoming the club’s chairman and later club president.
“He became actively involved in the local community and was originally a member of the Alcester Round Table. He later joined Alcester Rotary Club at which he helped raise funds for many worthy causes and he twice served as president before finally retiring as an active member in 2013, although he still assists with their activities as an honorary member.”
King met his wife June playing tennis in Cheshire in 1954 and they now live in Alcester and have four children, nine grandchildren and three great grandchildren.