View Full Version : Stars pay tribute to "Mr Tennis" (John Parsons)

Apr 27th, 2004, 08:29 PM
Veteran Tennis Writer John Parsons Has Died


By Tennis Week

Award-winning tennis journalist John Parsons, the Daily Telegraph's highly-respected tennis correspondent for the past 23 years, has died in Miami. He was 66.
Parsons, who was in the media room filing stories during the first week of the Nasdaq-100 Open last month, became ill at the Key Biscayne event and was taken to Mercy Hospital in Miami suffering from an assortment of ailments. The day before he was hospitalized, Parsons learned he had earned his second career Ron Bookman Award for Media Excellence in recognition of his service to tennis.

The author of several books, including the Wimbledon Annual since 1983, Parsons first covered Wimbledon in 1960 and attended more than 100 Grand Slam tournaments during the course of his career. In 1994, Parsons was inducted as an honorary member of the All England Lawn and Tennis Club. A member of the ITF Media Commission since 1985, Parsons received the "Tennis Writer of the Year" awards from both the ATP and WTA Tours.

"I have never known a correspondent more conscientious, nor more knowledgeable than John Parsons," Daily Telegraph sports editor David Welch told BBC Sport Online. "His thorough understanding of the tennis world contributed hugely to the sporting reputation of this newspaper and replacing him will be far from easy."

John Anthony Parsons was born February 20th, 1938 in Oxford, England. He worked as a sports reporter for the Oxford Mail from 1956-64 and for the London Daily Mail from 1964-81. A member of the Lawn Tennis Writers Association since 1967, Parsons served as chairman of the LTWA from 1980-82. A former tennis commentator for USA Network, Parsons was a regular contibutor to several tennis and sports magazines.

John Parsons, dean of British tennis writers, dead at 66http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/news;_ylc=X3oDMTBpNDU1cml1BF9TAzk1ODYyNTg0BHNlYwN0 aA--?slug=ap-obit-parsons&prov=ap&type=lgns
April 27, 2004

LONDON (AP) -- British tennis writer John Parsons, who covered 44 Wimbledon tournaments, died of kidney failure. He was 66.

Parsons died Monday at Mercy Hospital in Miami, Fla. He was covering the Nasdaq-100 Open in Key Biscayne when he was hospitalized last month.

Parsons, who received a kidney transplant in 1982, was the tennis correspondent for The Daily Telegraph for 23 years.

``In my time here as sports editor I have never known a correspondent more conscientious, nor more knowledgeable than John Parsons,'' Telegraph sports editor David Welch said.

``His thorough understanding of the tennis world contributed hugely to the sporting reputation of this newspaper and replacing him will be far from easy.''

Tim Phillips, chairman of the All England Tennis Club, held a minute's silence for Parsons on Tuesday during a news conference to announce the prize money for this summer's tournament.

``He's made an enormous contribution to our sport, nationally and internationally,'' Phillips said.

The Lawn Tennis Association's chief executive, John Crowther, called Parsons ``Mr. Tennis.''

Parsons was born in Oxford, and joined the Oxford Mail newspaper in 1956. He moved in 1964 to the Daily Mail in London, where he remained until 1981.

The author of numerous books about tennis and Wimbledon, Parsons was awarded his second Ron Bookman Media Excellence trophy by the ATP Tour in March. He also won the award in 1998 and was the WTA Tour's media person of the year in 1990.

Parsons was a fixture at tennis tournaments around the world.

Parsons' favorite Wimbledon final was the 2001 match in which Goran Ivanisevic beat Patrick Rafter 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 2-6, 9-7.

``Certainly it was the most thrilling, in all aspects of the day, I can recall in 42 years of reporting the Championships,'' Parsons wrote. Updated on Tuesday, Apr 27, 2004 12:43 pm EDT

Apr 27th, 2004, 10:07 PM
I didn't even know he was ill until I read something in the Mail today. Actually, it was about how wonderful Tim is for having visited him is hospital. Anyway, the tennis world may not be filled with journos who know much about the sport, but he was someone who often made you feel as if you'd been educated in some way. The guy knew his stuff and wasn't pretentious about it. It's a sad loss for the tennis world and I dare say his passing will be marked at Wimbledon this year.

My thoughts go to his family.

Apr 27th, 2004, 10:13 PM
Nice post, Snuffkin. I totally agree. Such a sad loss.

I only read it this evening in the Eveining Standard and was totally shocked. I never knew he was so ill, and he wasn't very old either.

Apr 27th, 2004, 10:14 PM
it was a sad sad loss, I enjoy reading his articles in the paper, soemtimes even buy daily telegraph or something just to read those articles when the slam comes :sad:

Apr 27th, 2004, 10:19 PM
I knew he was seriously ill because I got an email from the PR firm that handled IW that told us about his condition and that we should get checked for TB because he had been suffering from that as well as other conditions when he was at IW before he got so ill in Miami. Kinda scary stuff, but I got a clear from my doctor. He seemed like a nice guy and I'm sad to hear of his passing. Tennis needs more writers the quality of John Parsons.

Apr 27th, 2004, 10:25 PM
He was such a great tennis reporter, I only bought the Daily Telegraph because of his great articles. I can't believe this great writers gone. Tennis reporting is not the same without him. :sad:

Apr 28th, 2004, 12:00 AM
So sad to see the parting of a journo who actually loved tennis.

Apr 28th, 2004, 03:58 PM
World of tennis pays tribute to John Parsons
By Mark Hodgkinson
(Filed: 28/04/2004)

Tim Henman led the tributes from around the world last night for John Parsons, the lawn tennis correspondent of The Daily Telegraph for the last 23 years.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/graphics/2004/04/28/stjp28.jpgJohn Parsons: covered more than 40 Wimbledons in his career

Parsons, who died in Miami on Monday aged 66, was the doyen of the sport's writers. "John was the grandfather of tennis," Henman said.

Parsons was known, respected and adored on every stop of the tennis roadshow. He had covered more than 40 Wimbledons.

J P, as everyone called him, had a passion and a knowledge for the game of tennis that was unmatched.

Parsons was honoured by fellow journalists yesterday with a minute's silence before a press conference to announce this summer's Wimbledon prize money. The All England Club, where he had been an honorary member since 1994, had lost one of their own.

"This is a sad day," said Henman, who went to visit Parsons in hospital before he died. "He will be greatly missed by everyone within tennis. Everyone who was a part of the tennis world was also a part of John's family. Tennis was his life. He was so passionate about the sport - he was the grandfather and the godfather.

"He followed my career from the start, from when I was playing short tennis at the age of seven or eight. And because we were both from Oxford, there was always a special relationship between us. John was at almost every major tournament that I have played at in my career.

"It was always a tradition that he kicked off my press conferences with the first question. He got so excited about Wimbledon, so do I. It will be so strange, and so sad, not having John around."

Chris Evert, three times Wimbledon champion, said: "John was the king of the press box. I met him at my first Wimbledon in 1972, and from then on he was always one of my favourites. I got to know him well from doing columns for Telegraph Sport. I loved to see him smile. It was great to see him laugh and to be happy, as he was usually so serious most of the time. But he had a lovely smile.

"He just had great qualities. He was very low-key and understated. There was real integrity in his writing. John had the manner about him that you knew you could trust him. I knew that he would not sensationalise the story, but write it fairly. He was just a real classy guy."

John McEnroe, another triple Wimbledon champion, said: "John really loved our sport. He was one of the guys I saw around the courts from the moment I started in tennis and for that alone I respected him. There aren't many who've been around the game for as long as he had. He cared a lot about it - that was enough for me."

Martina Navratilova, nine times Wimbledon champion, said: "John's insight and wit will be greatly missed. It's just too sad for tennis to lose such a knowledgeable historian. When he interviewed me, I always learned something, and he made everyone think."

Former Wimbledon champion Virginia Wade said: "It is hard to imagine tennis without John. He was very fair. He always spoke to you as an equal, always respected what you said. I remember some wonderful nights out with John, especially dinners in Paris. It was great to be a friend of his."

Boris Becker, three times a Wimbledon winner, said: "It wasn't easy being thrown to the press pack as an innocent boy at Wimbledon in 1985, I needed help and it wasn't always easy to find. John was one of those journalists you immediately looked to and knew you could rely on him. He always stood for fairness, honesty and truth. When John spoke, he spoke with authority and when he wrote, his words carried enormous respect. Tennis writing has lost its own great champion."

Chris Gorringe, chief executive of the All England Club, said: "John's contribution to tennis was immense. The word that comes to mind is ubiquitous. He was everywhere, either covering a Grand Slam final, or at a junior event. He gave me huge support professionally, but was also a true friend."

Tim Phillips, chairman of the All England Club, said: "He has made an enormous contribution to tennis, which is recognised in this country and abroad. He set himself the highest standards. He will be greatly missed."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/main.jhtml;$sessionid$KAD5YZ3WYWD2FQFIQMFSFFOAVCBQ 0IV0?xml=/sport/2004/04/28/stjp28.xml&sSheet=/sport/2004/04/28/ixtenn.html

Apr 28th, 2004, 04:43 PM
met him once at the nats 2002, man he knew absolutely everything, and he was a incredibly nice guy and really helpful giving me tips when i was going through my"im go to american on a sports journalism scholarship" phase

Apr 28th, 2004, 06:48 PM
I got the same e-mail.

John was an interesting guy. We had some good discussions about tennis and about formula one. We didn't always agree,but we had fun disagreeing.

It was sad to learn of his passing, but I knew he was ill and so I was not really surprised.

Apr 28th, 2004, 07:11 PM
i get the Telegraph especially when slams are on just for his articles.
gonna miss his work.
last i saw him was when i passed the media centre at Wimbledon last summer, he was by the window, on the phone, and i waved to him, he waved back.

another article below.
John Parsons: A lion of tennis journalism passes

By Matthew Cronin

Art Seitz
John Parsons
The first thing you should know about award-winning tennis writer John Parsons – who passed away on Monday at the age of 66 – is that he didn’t suffer foolish play gladly, and the second thing you should know is that he happily and passionately spent four decades of his life shedding a brilliant light on the world’s most intriguing game.

"JP," as he was known to much of the tennis world, made the UK’s Daily Telegraph a necessary read for the past 23 years. He took his job and his sport seriously and always made time for people who he could tell truly cared about the game. He was warm, witty, and insightful and was one of the last truly great on-court print analysts. He wrote about every Slam, made a point to travel to every other major tournament that was relevant and actively engaged in the pressing issues of the day.

The last time I saw JP was at Indian Wells last month. He had officially retired in 2002, but despite his up-and-down health, he had decided to keep on as the Telegraph’s tennis correspondent because he felt like he still has something left to contribute to the game. He sure did.

The sport has largely moved from coverage of what happens between the lines to exposes of the game’s varied personalities. While that may suit some, it is certainly not a trend that does the sport any great favors.

What really matter to the players, coaches, devoted fans and serious writers is how the ball is struck, where it goes and who is mentally prepared to do the better and more intelligent striking. If JP was watching a match that you weren’t, you could go to him and he could break down the important patterns of a match in a heartbeat. He was a willing and essential resource.

I remember a lunch I had with JP a few years back and he was quizzing about my family life. I told him a few stories about my kids and I asked him why he never had any. He said that while he would have liked to have had children, that he was full-time tennis correspondent and never felt like he had enough energy or time left to develop a proper home life, because chronicling the sport took up the vast majority of his waking hours. John said he had no regrets, saying that he simply loved his part in the game and wouldn’t trade his life for anyone else’s.

That kind of devotion is rare amongst journalists in any walk of life. That kind of devotion and love of tennis will be sorely missed on earth. When JP walks up to the gates of heaven, St. Peter will issue him a Centre Court credential. The gods better be on the games the first time that JP sits down to watch them play, because the lord knows Parsons never let a dodgy forehand go by without noting it. We sadly note his passing.

Apr 28th, 2004, 10:26 PM
Very sad news :sad:

Apr 28th, 2004, 10:50 PM