Iconic 'Tennis Girl' dress up for auction with racket and the poster that made it famous

Expected to fetch up to £2,000 when it goes under the hammer on 5 July

It is one of tennis’ most iconic images and now the white dress worn by ‘Tennis Girl’ will be the possession of one fan when it goes up for auction.

The mini dress will also go under the hammer with the tennis racket, in a lot by Fieldings Auctioneers which is expected to fetch £1,000-£2,000.

Fiona Walker (née Butler), the model, was 18-years-old when the shot was taken by her then boyfriend Martin Elliot at the University of Birmingham in 1976.

The outfit had been lent to Ms Butler by her friend Carol Knotts, who made her own clothes as a teenager.

"As I played tennis at the local club in Stourbridge, I bought a 'Simplicity' pattern and made my own dress, complete with lace trim,” Ms Knotts told the BBC.

"I've had the dress tucked away in a cupboard for all those years. It's a little piece of tennis history and I hope someone might find it an interesting novelty item to buy."

Though Ms Butler and Mr Elliot separated a few years after the picture was taken, it had already been propelled to stratospheric fame after being used as part of an Athena calendar in 1977.

It then sold millions of copies as a poster and has continued its status as one of the most recognisable images in the world.

The dress also goes on sale with a 1979 poster and limited edition canvas print, in an auction on 5 July – the date of the ladies’ final at Wimbledon.

In a 2007 interview with the Birmingham Post, Fiona Walker said: “My son's headmaster once said to me that he used to have [the poster] on his wall at university.”

“I've got no objections to [the poster] whatsoever. My children have never been upset about it. It's really nothing that anyone could be offended by. It's just a bit of fun. I think it was banned in a couple of countries but really I don't think there was anything to get upset about.”

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