Molly Lincoln Blair -
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 1 (permalink) Old Nov 7th, 2011, 09:55 PM Thread Starter
Moderator - BFTP
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 22,176
Molly Lincoln Blair

An obit on Molly Linclon Blair, who perhaps was most famous as a player on Britain's post-war Wightman Cup teams.

Tennis mourns death of popular coach

Published on Thursday 5 February 2004 09:12

THE town's tennis community is mourning the death of former Wimbledon semi-finalist Molly Blair.
A founder member of the Cooden Beach Sports and Social Club, Molly will also be fondly remembered for her coaching. Such was her standing within this field that world famous commentator Dan Maskell once remarked: "Molly Blair has done more for junior tennis in this country than anyone will ever know."

Cooden Beach member Marion Longhurst echoed the sentiment. "She did a tremendous amount of work with children, that was her thing," she said. "She coached children with great enthusiasm. She would drive them all over the county taking them to tournaments for them to improve and get on. There will be so many people in Sussex who would remember her with great affection because they have passed through her hands."

Born in Romford, Molly started playing tennis as an 11-year-old in a public park and it wasn't long before she made her mark locally. Two years later she began to receive coaching and was selected to play for her county.

She made her Junior Wimbledon debut at 17 and was runner-up on her first appearance in her maiden name of Molly Lincoln. In 1948 she reached the ladies' doubles semi-final and became a life member of the prestigious "Last Eight Club". In mixed doubles, she teamed up with husband Norman to win a number of tournaments throughout the country.

Molly also played in all three of the post-war Wightman Cup matches against the USA and her displays meant she was widely regarded as one of the outstanding ladies' doubles players this country has produced.

Moving to Sussex with her family, Molly helped to set up the Cooden Beach Sports and Social Club and began coaching members' children in 1972. Her efforts helped the club receive the Lawn Tennis Association's "Club of the Year" award for outstanding achievement.

The following decade Molly started short tennis as an after-school activity in two primary schools and one of her devotees won the county championship while another two were chosen to play exhibitions at Wimbledon. She also coached juniors at Egerton Park Tennis Club and several went on to county and regional training squads and to represent the county.

Longhurst added: "Once seen, never forgotten. She was one of those people you will remember always - she was such a character. When she was coaching her voice could be heard down on the beach from the club."

Molly also helped to raise thousands of pounds for charity through Cooden Beach's Ladies' Friday Group.

Long-term friend and fellow coach Liz Patrick said: "She really was an inspirational woman. It's an end of an era. She was someone very special.

"She's been a flagship for the game. I don't think she ever charged more than a pound for the kids, she wanted everyone to have the chance to play."

Molly, who moved away from the area several years ago to live with one of her three children, died on Monday. She was 85.

Last edited by Rollo; Dec 11th, 2015 at 01:26 AM.
Rollo is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome