Going through the storage boxes I found some unused tennis balls. They were still firm, but I would suggest if hit, they would disintegrate into a cloud of dust. I did play competition tennis initially for Wollert, and in later years for Beveridge. I did not make it to the higher ranks, however we did have a great coach in the early years. Lancelot Greer was a former prisoner of war, and was in Changi with Weary Dunlop. ‘Lanie’ as he was known, was still winning district competitions and championships when he was in his fifties. I must have been somewhat of a disappointment to him, but he actively encouraged myself and the other children in the district to persist and practice, practice, practice.
It was whilst playing for Beveridge that we were competing at Yan Yean. We had been relatively successful throughout the day and were well up in the games score as we entered the mixed doubles. It was the last game of our set and as I reached to return a low ball, I felt something like a kick to the back of my right leg. I finished the set a little uncomfortable and then started to feel pain as I cooled down. I returned home with the assistance of other team members and the leg stated to swell. Nothing could be done on Sunday, so first thing Monday morning we rang our doctor in Whittlesea for an appointment.
I was indeed fortunate, as our local GP’s at the time were Dr. Bruce Reid, who became the club doctor for the Essendon Football Club and Dr. John Tickell, who left Whittlesea to take up a position with the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra.
A quick examination revealed that I had in fact torn my Achilles tendon rather badly. An appointment was made for an operation at the Warringal Sports Hospital in Heidelberg and the tendon was eventually restored, albeit after some weeks in a cast over summer.