A goodbye from David Watts
December 11, 2020
1989!! - it's a long time ago - 31 years - a different century.
It was in 1989 that I joined what was then the Council of the Middlesex LTA. I had turned up, out of interest, at the AGM. It was no different then from today. The turnout was, being kind, small. They were looking for "suitable" (whatever that might have meant) new councillors. I volunteered. I was already involved at my local club (Teddington LTC) so I sort of knew what I was getting myself into. But to think that here I still would be 31 years later, well.....
Geoff Brown, a past President of the LTA itself, was our President/Chairman. During his tenure I became Chairman of the Development Committee and was involved in helping to run the Junior Championships while doing quite a bit of local refereeing. When Geoff stood down, Jean Fyfe took over for the next three years. It was under Jean's chairmanship that two very important events occurred that have shaped Middlesex Tennis going forward. First, in 2003, John James agreed to become President and shortly afterwards, the Middlesex Council became the Middlesex Tennis Management Board. This new organisation, much smaller in numbers, but not in expertise, made the running of tennis in Middlesex much more efficient.
Then came 2005. For their sins, the Management Board asked me to be their Chairman. And here we are and it is 2020. Chairman for 16 years, 16, for the most part, enjoyable years. But it is time to pass on the baton, and about time too I hear you say and you may be right. However, I can't go without saying a big thank you to all those I have worked with over those 31 years. You all know who you are, and while there are too many to mention everyone individually I do particularly want to thank John James for his guidance and shrewd advice over the years. Also John Love who has been our "Chief Executive" for the last five years meaning that he has been running the show on a day to day basis and has been invaluable to the County and to me in particular. The new Chairman and the County is very fortunate to have John.
So, au revoir. Not goodbye because I intend to stay in touch. Middlesex Tennis has been a large part of my life. I believe that I leave it in good shape - we are after all the current Champion County! Again many thanks to all who have played, and continue to play a part in the successful story of Middlesex Tennis.
Chairman, Middlesex Tennis