Fred Perry's trophies sold for pounds 300,000

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The Independent Online
The relatives of England's greatest tennis star, Fred Perry, yesterday auctioned off all his trophies and mementos for nearly pounds 300,000 in a pre- Wimbledon sale at Christie's.

A trophy Perry (right) received for winning Wimbledon in 1934 and one for winning the US title three times both reached pounds 36,700. The racquet with which he won his first Wimbledon title, in 1933, which had been expected to raise pounds 1,500, actually fetched pounds 23,000.

Penny Perry, his 39-year-old daughter, and a tennis player herself, was said by a Christie's spokeswoman to be "absolutely thrilled" with the outcome of the sale. "She was particularly gratified by the sale of the racquet," said the spokeswoman. "She now feels more than happy that the family made the right decision to sell. She's really, really euphoric."

Perry, the son of a Labour MP from Lancashire, had intended his trophies to remain at the Lawn Tennis Museum at the All England Club, in his words, "for perpetuity". But three days before the start of this year's Wimbledon - where Perry took the men's singles three years in a row - it became clear that the ongoing feud between the Perry family and the Wimbledon authorities had not been resolved.

Perry had become persona non grata at the club when he turned professional and left for the US in 1936. Bobby Perry, the tennis legend's fourth wife and 78-year-old widow, feels she owes the club nothing. "These days I have to fight to get a couple of tickets," she said. "They never even made me a member."

Penny is all in favour of her mother benefitting financially. "Fred's gone, there's no emotional pull, no personal qualms," she said. "As far as my mother's concerned, they were won before she met him anyway, and we know what he did, so why do we need to look at trophies?"

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