Fred Perry Stockport’s Finest

You have heard of Fred Perry haven’t you? You know, the clothing brand that make nice polo shirts? Well did you know that there is a lot more to the Fred Perry brand than just the polo shirts? Frederick John “Fred” Perry, was a Stockport born Tennis player who won 10 Majors Titles, including eight Grand Slams in his professional career! Here is his inspirational story:

It all began over 100 years ago. Fred Perry was born 18th May 1909 in Stockport. He started playing Tennis on the public tennis courts near his family’s housing estate. From then on, it was clear he was going to change British sport forever!

Plaque at Fred’s original house!

Jumping right in, Fred Perry’s playing style was often described as immensely quick, something that clearly helped him have an advantage over his opponents as shown with what he accomplished in his career. Perry won at Wimbledon on 3 successive occasions starting in 1935, and was the first man to win all four ‘Grand Slam’ titles at Wimbledon, the Australian Open, the French Open and the American Open. Not only that but he was the World №1 for 3 years in a row.

It wasn’t just Singles Tennis that Perry was good at. He was no slouch when it came to Doubles Tennis as well. He added 6 Major doubles titles to his resume, 2 with Pat Hughes and 4 in the mixed doubles alongside Betty Nuthall, Sarah Palfrey Cooke and Dorothy Round Little! Spreading his talent to the doubles scene and helping others achieve their potential!

Fred with Doubles partner Pat Hughes!

Believe it or not, Tennis wasn’t the only sport that Fred played. He competed and was successful at Table Tennis! He won the Table Tennis World Championship in 1929, being the only man in history to win a major tournament in both Tennis and Table Tennis, an incredible achievement!

Fred playing Table Tennis

Another point to note is Perry became a citizen in the USA in 1938, and then in 1942 he was drafted into the US Air force during the Second World War.

Perry launched the famous Fred Perry tennis shirt in 1952, which turned out to be an immediate success. It is a simple polo shirt with 3 buttons and two stripes on the sleeve and collar. Coloured versions of the shirt were launched in the late 1950s, which became popular in the 1960s as a fashion statement in Mod culture.

Classic Fred Perry shirt design

Perry officially retired in 1956, leaving behind a sporting legacy that few have been able to match. The only British Tennis player who has managed to match him is Andy Murray, and we all know how good he is at Tennis!

Andy Murray rocking Fred Perry Tennis gear! EPA

Recognition for all of Fred’s achievements in tennis and British sport in general was given in 1984, when a statue was unveiled at Wimbledon. In the same year, he became the only tennis player listed in a survey of 2,000 Brits, to find the ‘Best of the Best’ of British sportsman of the 20th century. Well deserved.

The statue at Wimbledon!

It really is amazing that it took 79 years for another British male competitor to win a Wimbledon championship, and it’s a testament to how talented Fred Perry was. His legacy is living on through the history books and his clothing brand! A British icon.

By Jack— BYP