What the papers said about . . . Fred Perry

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"All England mourns a passing hero." Guardian "The Errol Flynn of the Centre Court." Today "Perry's modest background, and a disinclination to touch his forelock, were not compatible with the snobbishness of the Lawn Tennis Association in an age when social demarcations were still in force."

Independent "While boys in expensive schools were taught to play up and play the game, Fred and his pals at Ealing County School, although abiding by this catechism, never wanted to be good losers. Perry hated finishing second and didn't mind who knew it. This uncompromising attitude, together with his cloth-cap background, made him something of an outsider in a world of boaters and blazers." Mail "The good life of the Ritz and Hollywood, of winning business ventures and tinseltown romances and marriages, of smooth tennis commentary with a mid-Atlantic accent, flowed seamlessly from those days of high achievement, but it didn't really touch the core of the man." Express "Amazingly, due to the snobbery, he did not even touch the world's most famous tennis trophy after those triumphs. No one at Wimbledon could bring themselves to present it to the muck-and-brass kid. It took almost 50 years for the great man to hold it - and that was only because Radio Times had requested the picture." Sun " `Now then,'he said again as I went to leave his bedside. `Have you noticed how Agassi's been working on his serve?' Even on his sickbed, Fred Perry was a champion." Telegraph "He had not forgotten that when he received the All England tie signifying membership that automatically comes with winning the Wimbledon title, it was not presented to him but merely left over the back of a chair in the dressing-room." Times "Death did to Fred Perry yesterday what no friend or foe could ever do. It beat him." Mirror