12 May 1952–31 January 2020
From the early 1970s to the 1990s, Hendo was an active member of the County Arts and then Oasis clubs playing in the Norwich Section Jewson and Fleur de Lys leagues. He was a stalwart in the teams that had a long-standing rivalry with East Anglia; he was part of teams that won both first divisions and the cups.
He then continued in the same vein when Oasis moved to Weston Park, and thereafter he played at Diss, where he was still playing in division 2 of the Winter League at the start of this year.
His other club achievements were playing in teams that won the Norwich Winter league division 1 and also the Veterans league division 1, both over long periods.
Under the flag of Hunstanton he was in the team that won the National Club senior mixed doubles (55/50), beating Purley on sets in the finals weekend at Dudley.
He represented the Norfolk first team on occasion and also was a regular at the over 35s at Eastbourne, followed by being in a continuous series of veterans’ teams from 45+ to 65+, rarely missing a match.
On an individual level he played in numerous local tournaments. He won the Norwich Parks singles, and also the doubles and mixed. At Framlingham he won the 45+ doubles for seven years in a row. There and at Cromer he won many other veterans’ events, also the 45+ doubles at Harpenden.
He somehow managed to play all this daytime tennis and work at the same time! That encapsulates Hendo and his love of the game.
Jeremy Cameron wrote the following words in memory of his friend ‘Hendo’
Up, up it went into the air, the highest ball toss in world tennis. Then the characteristic dip of the knees. Whack! The flat serve, not very elegant but very effective, harder than it seemed, scooting through, followed at some speed by the server. Henderson was at the net again. David had been around for years and played a hundred county second team matches before suddenly he was chosen to play for the first team, away at Bedford.
He played third pair. Would he struggle at this higher level?
First pair struggled. Second pair struggled. David and partner won all their matches. The newspaper dubbed him Hundred Per Cent Henderson. It also said his racket had the tension of a tub of molasses. David loved it. He didn’t lose the record for a long time.. (The only hundred percenter still left is Bob King.) Better than anyone in Norfolk, perhaps the world, David had grasped the concept that you won at tennis if you hit the ball back more often than your opponent. It would be interesting to know how many balls he hit over the years. A million? A billion?. A trillion? Getting warmer. A gadzillion? Now you’re talking. Probably about one and a half gadzillion . In the warm up. Fortunately David also played table tennis and badminton to a high level. If all that energy had gone into tennis the courts would have eroded like the cliffs at Happisburgh. As it was, at a grass court tournament there were clear signs of the Henderson Route from baseline to net. By the Friday, furthermore, no one else could get on a court. David was in five events, he hadn’t lost in any of them, they all lasted three hours and darkness had fallen. Still the ball kept going into the stratosphere on serve. Down it came. Whack. Then came the veteran years. David was born a veteran. He was pretty nearly unbeatable. People described their successes not by whether they won the tournament but how far they got before they met David. Club matches, above all county matches, brought David the fame he deserved. Everyone wanted to know when he got to a new age group. ‘When’s Hendo 65?’ The supply of sweets in the car may have accounted for his energy. David was
always prepared to drive. He drove teams all over England, sometimes in cars that had done a quarter of a million miles. Anyone in vets’ tennis will tell you that the high point of the day is not the tennis but the chat in the car. David took a very full part in this. He loved the chat. He loved the people. He loved his holidays for the same reason. He retired from work at least once but couldn’t stay away. He had to be occupied, to be active, to be meeting people. And people loved him. Extraordinarily, despite his thrashing them on every occasion at every sport, no one ever had a. bad word to say about him. He is probably driving St Peter crazy now with dinky half volleys and horrible teasing lobs. He will not be replaced down here. David,, you gave us fun and friendship. You were a bastard to play against but we wish we could do it all again. R.I.P. mate.
We are delighted to announce the following County Award winners, who will also go forward to Regional assessment. The winners will be presented with their awards at the AGM on 24th February at Easton College. Our congratulations to all the winners and also thanks to everyone who took the time to make nominations.
Volunteer of the Year and Recipient of the Jolyon Harris Award
Ali Ward (Gt Massingham)
Club of the Year
Coach of the Year
Official of the Year
Tournament of the Year
The new year started for some of our county juniors with a friendly match against Suffolk, hosted at Easton & Otley College Tennis Centre.
On Saturday 4th, 8 boys and 8 girls from both counties played a series of matches against each other. The format enabled each player to take part in 2 singles and 2 doubles matches.
The action was non stop from 10.30-4.30pm with Suffolk taking the bragging rights in both the boys and girls matches with 15-9 wins in both.
Norfolk U/12 Girls Team
On Sunday, it was the turn of the U/18s. This time, Suffolk won the girls match, again 15-9, with Norfolk boys claiming victory with a 13-9 win.
Norfolk U/18 Girls Team
All in all it proved to be a great event with plenty of court time for all concerned and good preparation ahead of U/18 county cup in february.
This year we faced five strong counties, namely Yorkshire, Lancashire, Surrey, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire who had just been been promoted. The results are as follows:
Saturday 28th April Hertfordshire bt Norfolk 3 -2
Sunday 9th June Bucks bt Norfolk 3-2
Saturday 18th May Norfolk bt Surrey 3-2
Saturday 15th June Norfolk bt Lancashire 3-2
Sunday 21st July Yorkshire bt Norfolk 3-2
These results just show how close the competition was with a couple of these matches losing in the third set tie break! Below demonstrates even more how close it was between Yorkshire, Lancashire and us. We had to wait until the very end of the season to see our fate, but I’m confident we will bounce back next year!
Thank you so much to my committed squad of ladies who all played brilliantly throughout: Judy Horn, Lesley Cooper, Susie Hill, Ann Nicholls, Sara Worley and to Tish Peal and Mary Ogden for their much appreciated guest appearances!
The Norfolk Ladies O60’s headed up to the David Lloyd Dudley this weekend to play the intercounty final against Essex, and came home as champions.
It was a good match with the result being decided on the last match.
Tish Peal and Caroline Blincoe played the singles matches against Essex with Tish narrowly losing on a third set championship tiebreak and Caroline claiming a good win. Sue Rich and Jane Ray then played the doubles round and won comfortably . Hence Norfolk were 2-1 ahead after round 1.
Next the Norfolk singles players teamed up to play doubles against the Essex doubles pair with Sue and Jane played doubles against the Essex singles players.
Jane and Sue just lost, again in a third set championship tiebreak but luckily Tish and Caroline clinched their game in 2 sets.
Hence Norfolk won 3-2.
Left to right: Sue Rich, Jane Ray, Tish Peal, Caroline Blincoe
On weekend Nov 22-24th, Norfolk Mens team were competing at Liverpool in Div 2a of Winter County Cup.
The team was full of youth supported by some experience and Mr Norfolk, Captain Nicky Crawley. The full squad included: Alex Mcnaughton, Fred Withers, Alex Watkinson, Mike Digby, Dan Wynne, Matt Samson, Nicky Crawley, James Aukland, Kris Jenkins.
On Day 1 the team faced Lancashire, but with each singles player losing their opening service game it would prove to be an uphill task. Straight set defeats in all the singles and only a consolation doubles win for Crawley/Jenkins. A 1-7 defeat was not part of the plan.
Saturday welcomed the introduction of James Aukland, an outstanding performer for the county with a wealth of experience. Facing a strong Cheshire team, this change alone would not be enough. A 2-7 defeat meant that the final day would be a straight shoot out with Derbyshire to avoid relegation.
After the singles the match was tied 3-3, so two rubbers were needed to secure safety. The match score was soon 4-4, both teams each winning a doubles rubber. It would all go down to the final rubber. Norfolk were represented by the Mcnaughton/Samson partnership, who despite being relatively new to senior tennis, had played together throughout juniors. After 2 sets it was still all square, so a final set tiebreak would decide relegation. Unfortunately despite a determined fight back, Norfolk would lose 8-10 and face relegation to Div 3 of Winter County Cup.
Captain Crawley said: “We had our chances and need to protect our own service games better. The younger players are still developing and we need to keep pushing them to ensure they play their best tennis. Defeat is never easy to take but we will learn from this and play better in the future”.