Still game, set for match

The oldest member of the newly formed Melrose Waverley Over 70's Tennis Club Charlie Renton (77).
The oldest member of the newly formed Melrose Waverley Over 70's Tennis Club Charlie Renton (77).

A SEXTET of senior smashers are seeking opposition from around the Borders and beyond, writes Fiona Scott.

There’s only one condition, however. Would-be applicants must be around the age of 70.

Melrose over 70s team

Melrose over 70s team

Known nationwide as Scotland’s oldest tennis team, Melrose Waverley Over-70s meet twice a week and are keen to play similarly aged players from other clubs. However, with their six players having an astonishing age total of 448, the Melrose old guard have found it difficult finding other teams that fall within their age bracket.

The team’s eldest member Charlie Renton, 77, told TheSouthern: ”We have been playing together now for around three years and just thought it would be nice to meet up with and play teams of a similar age for games of doubles.

“Our six members meet for games twice a week. We have a couple of ex-Melrose rugby forwards and two former Gala scrum halfs amongst us, so the games can be very competitive. And there are always some heated line-call disputes.”

Charlie admits that while the team are still quite competitive at times, the main reason for their weekly outings down to the Gibson Park venue is to keep fit and it certainly appears to be working.

Charlie is keen to encourage other likeminded veterans to give it a go.

“Although our guys keep fit playing tennis and golf, there is no point in playing younger guys in their 50s because they will obviously get round court far quicker,” he added.

“We play on Mondays and Fridays for an hour and a half and most of it is just gentle exercise. All six of us feel the benefits and thoroughly enjoy our afternoon sessions.

“The doubles games are great fun, but it would be great to know if there were similar aged players out there who we could play against.

“Some of our players reached county standard, but we wouldn’t want to be taking on ex-professionals.

“I don’t know of any similar-aged teams in the Borders, but it would be good to hear if there are any out there and perhaps a club further afield may be able to put out a team.”

Melrose Waverley Tennis Club Over-70s comprises Charlie Renton, 77; John Crawford, 74; Ronnie Garrett, 75; David Peters, 72; Brian Lumley, 75; and Mac Brown, 75.

Anyone interested in taking on Charlie and his team should contact Fiona Scott at TheSouthern on 01750 724854 or email fionascott@tweeddalepress.co.uk and she will pass your contact details on.