Long-serving Norfolk tennis ace Jolyon Harris passes away

Jolyon Harris.

Jolyon Harris. - Credit: Submitted

The Norfolk tennis world is mourning the loss of former county captain and Norfolk LTA president Jolyon Harris.

Mr Harris passed away peacefully at his Swardeston home earlier this month, aged 78. He had been linked to tennis in Norfolk across seven decades as a player, administrator and trustee.

After undertaking national service in Cyprus, Mr Harris went to Clare College, Cambridge, and there represented and captained Cambridge University, gaining a blue in 1960.

He represented Norfolk men for the first time at the Winter County Championships in 1957 and continued to represent Norfolk's men until 1970, captaining the team between 1965 and 1970.

As he stood down from representative playing, Mr Harris became Norfolk LTA honorary secretary in 1970, holding the post until 1980.

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During the 1970s Mr Harris was becoming deeply involved with the LTA at a national level, but was Norfolk LTA president in 1984-85 and had another spell as honorary secretary between 2001 and 2005.

Mr Harris was also elected as Norfolk LTA's representative on the LTA Council in 1971, a position he held until 1989. He was also a member of the joint finance committee of the Wimbledon Championships from 1978 to 1984 and served on the Tennis Europe Men's and Team Championships committee from 1990 to 2006.

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Mr Harris was made LTA vice-president in 1990 and in 2008 was awarded the highest recognition possible of an honorary life vice-presidency of the LTA.

A Norfolk LTA spokesman said: 'The foregoing list of achievements and duties undertaken perhaps only shines a small light onto the nature of this remarkable individual.

'He had a huge passion for the sport of tennis and for his home county of Norfolk. He was always there to offer help and support, and everything was done in a respectful and good-mannered way. He will be deeply missed.'

• The funeral and service of thanksgiving for Mr Harris will take place at St Peter Mancroft Church in Norwich at 2pm on Thursday, April 30.

Family flowers only, but donations to support Macmillan Cancer Support, the Norfolk Millenium Trust for Carers, and Swardeston Church may be given at the service or sent, c/o Peter Taylor Funeral Service, 85 Unthank Road, Norwich NR2 2PE; telephone 01603 760787. Cheques should be made payable to Peter Taylor Funeral Services.

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