FORMBY LAWN TENNIS CLUB – HISTORY
Formby Lawn Tennis Club was founded in the 1880’s when the construction of an electric railway service between Liverpool and Southport transformed Formby from a fishing village, into a pleasant haven for Victorian merchants.
The club leased a plot of land from Formby Cricket Club and remained a relatively small concern until the end of the First World War. Our records pre 1934 are sketchy but we do hold a trophy from 1891 presented to the club by the Officers of the 4th Battalion of the Cheshire Regiment. Between 1920 and 1937, the club, in conjunction with the Cricket Club, hosted one of the biggest open tournaments in the North of England. The event was attended by the top international players of the day and also by members of the Australian Davis Cup team.
The 1950’s and 1960’s saw a significant increase in membership with the club acquiring more land and constructing hard courts to compliment the grass playing areas. Under a succession of dynamic and energetic committees, many fund raising events were held, including a fete and numerous club dances. This enabled the club to undertake an extension to the clubhouse which was completed in 1971.
The club was honoured in 1985 when it was asked to host an International match between England and Ireland. This was a two day event and encompassed singles, doubles and mixed doubles. In the 1990’s the club entered the Silk Cut Tennis Challenge and were regional finalists three times. In 1996 they achieved the ultimate by winning the National Final which was held at the Queens Club in West Kensington.
The club was gifted the freehold of the land in 2002 and with six courts (artificial grass) which are all floodlit. In 2009 the club underwent a complete modernisation programme starting with the refurbishment of the interior and culminating in the replacement of the all weather courts in 2013. In the same year, the club was awarded the “Clubmark” status (now updated as Tennis Mark) and held a marquee event in its own grounds to celebrate 125 years of tennis at Gores Lane. Members and visitors alike can now enjoy these up to date facilities, whilst the clubhouse retains the charm of yesteryear, in the leafy suburb of Formby.