The Great Fred Perry Lament
Fred Perry for people of a certain age is synonymous with a golden era in British tennis. For others, it’s simply one of the biggest clothing brands around. But although the two are tied together – Fred Perry the tennis player after all founded Fred Perry the clothing brand – the two worlds couldn’t be further apart. In the world of fashion the success of Fred Perry clothing is phenomenal, and part of its appeal is its distinctively British vibe. But in tennis, being British seems to be synonymous with failure.Fred Perry – The Last Man Standing
Fred Perry was the last Brit to date to win Wimbledon. And critics say the failure of British tennis is down to a structural flaw that runs throughout the game. It seems there are endless initiatives and experts working to unearth the next Fred Perry. But their continued failure has been put down to generations of neglect. Tennis used to be a great British game hinged around its famous Wimbledon tournament. But critics say the failure of the game is down to its elitism. To play tennis, costs money. Tennis clubs can be unwelcoming to young people not of a certain class. And many clubs are closed to young people full stop – like golf – the sport of retirees and the rich. Without children taking up the game early, there’s no chance of home-grown professionals or champions to be. The last British hope Andy Murray illustrates the point. He was the closest thing to Fred Perry (even wearing Fred Perry designs on court) but was the product of a tennis academy – not a national system. He even had to relocate to Barcelona to keep up with his peers from Europe.The Fred Perry Winning Streak
Perhaps the country became complacent in the shadow of Fred Perry’s success but critics say Britain’s failures are the result of generations of neglect since those golden days. There are fewer public tennis courts that are accessible today, and the lack of good British players means even the talented and trained pros like Andy Murray are not being stretched enough. Before Murray, we had Henman who was always a bridesmaid and never the bride at the major tournaments. And before Henman it was a British hopeful who wasn’t actually British – the Canadian Greg Rusedski who embraced British nationality.
It seems when it comes to success, the buck stopped at Fred Perry. At least his clothing line has kept his winning streak alive.
Whilst we can’t find you a British Wimbledon champion, we can offer you a fantastic range of Fred Perry gear. We stock clothing and footwear from a range of leading labels so you can find the biggest brands all in one place.