GLOWING tributes have poured in following the death of Peter Wooller, arguably the greatest tennis player in North Wales history.
Three times a Wimbledon singles competitor, Wooller, who would have been 88 in February, played for Rhos-on-Sea and was an automatic choice for Wales for more than a decade.
Born in 1925, Wooller, younger brother of Wilf Wooller, the Cardiff and Wales rugby star and Glamorgan cricket captain and secretary, served as a teenage air gunner in the the war, before having trials with Cardiff City and taking up tennis aged 20.
His doubles partnership with friend Jim Upton, of Wrexham, also a prolific Wales international and Wimbledon veteran, saw them write history by securing 75 consecutive victories on grass representing North Wales at the annual LTA Inter-County championships.
The highlight of his singles career was stretching reigning US champion Tony Trabert to 8-6 8-6 6-3 in a dazzling Wimbledon encounter.
“This is very sad news indeed,” said Jim Upton. “No-one ever played harder or more sportingly than Peter.His name will forever be synonymous with North Wales tennis.”
Wooller, a former Ysgol John Bright pupil, was honoured with Life Membership of North Wales LTA as well as becoming President and receiving the coveted D.P.Thomas Memorial Award for exceptional services to tennis in North Wales.
Long-serving treasurer of North Wales LTA and Prestatyn’s ‘Mr Tennis’ Alan Goodall, awarded the MBE for services to the game, said: “Peter was a very modest man and well liked by everyone.
“He had not been well for the past year and many people will be most sorry to hear of his passing.
“His achievements as a player were quite outstanding.”
Wales international and North Wales captain Geoff Roberts, another of Wooller’s team-mates, added: “Peter was an absolute war horse on the court, and displayed unbelievable strength and stamina.”
Peter Clarke, another county regular from Wrexham Garden Village club, who won the North Wales doubles title with Wooller at Denbigh, said: “He would run till he dropped and always played his heart out.”
The funeral service for Wooller, survived by his wife Jo, takes place at St George’s Church, Rhos-on-Sea, on Wednesday January 2 at 1.45pm followed by cremation at Colwyn Bay.