50 love as tennis record is matched at Kirkcaldy club

A 50-year-old tennis record set in Kirkcaldy has been replicated in the name of charity.

Thursday, 24th June 2021, 11:54 am
Updated Friday, 25th June 2021, 9:41 am
The group at Kirkcaldy Tennis Club (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)
The group at Kirkcaldy Tennis Club (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)

In June 1971 four players at Kirkcaldy Tennis Club set a world record by playing doubles for 28 hours non-stop.

The foursome – Douglas Wilson, Iain Beattie, Ian Fettes and Norrie Pillans – smashed the previous record by three hours and the still-standing time was matched by a team of seven at the same club last weekend, with Norrie on hand to give some support.

Sandra Robertson, the club’s secretary said: “They did really well.

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Norrie Pillans of the original 1971 team at Kirkcaldy Lawn Tennis Club (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)

“They kept it going through the night, when I think they found it really hard going.

“They got a lot of support from other members and lots of local businesses. That was great to see.”

The efforts of the seven members – Ewan Fenelon, Bruce Lamond, Kenny Bell, Fiona Liddell, John Harris, Raymond Glancy and Iain Brown – were put in place by local travel agent and club member Bruce Lamond.

Sandra said: “His travel agency business has really suffered, but to think he put that to one side to do this for charity is quite fantastic.”

The original report as it appeared in the Fife Free Press in 1971

The group kept a doubles match in play continually in an effort to match the original group’s time, beginning at 10am on Saturday morning.

“It wasn't a complete duplicate of what happened 50 years as there were only four of them,” Sandra said.

“We had a continuous doubles game going with the seven players rotating.

“Norrie told me that his wrist was agony after they'd finished in 1971 and he fell asleep in the bath afterwards!”

Come 2pm on Sunday, the seven players had completed their 28-hour challenge, smashed their fundraising target of £3,000 and the club themselves gained a new member.

“Norrie has joined the club again,” Sandra said.

“He came along just to give a bit of support to the guys but ended up rejoining as a veteran.

“He was actually quite emotional.”

The total raised on the players’ JustGiving page currently stands at £5,123.

Sandra said: “We are giving £3,000 to Maggie's, £1,000 to the renal unit at Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy, £750 to Prostate Cancer UK and rest is to help kids get into sport in Kirkcaldy.”

You can make a donation at the club’s JustGiving page.