WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Jonah Barrington

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The Independent Online
The decline in popularity of squash has been witnessed by this month's national championships, which passed by with barely a flicker of public interest. Hence the decision of the Squash Rackets Association to charge Jonah Barrington, six times British Open champion and long-time scourge of the game's establishment, with reviving it.

SRA president since 1994, he became a paid consultant on 1 January. "Attitudes have to change," he said. "The sport has to break away from a lot of its traditions and there must no longer be even a sniff of snobbery."

Barrington set his sights on professional sport, despite being told it carried no status. "If I had realised my dream, I would have played football for Chelsea," he said. "Instead, circumstances brought me into squash, which I found suited my nature."

He turned professional in 1969, and through his winnings, endorsements, coaching and exhibitions, became the first man to earn a full living from the game. Today he is also a consultant to the Dutch federation and coaches part-time at Millfield School.

Now 54, he lives in Glastonbury with his wife, Madeline. They have two sons. He still "trains obsessively" but a snapped Achilles tendon has curtailed his playing. "With each year that passes, the age group I can deal with gets younger," he said. "I'm only really good for under-10s now."

Jon Culley