Henman tale puts book out of reach

Last updated at 12:35 27 June 2007


An anecdote that doesn't describe Wimbledon darling Tim Henman in the best possible light might help to explain why a book written by one of the All England Club's longest serving employees is not for sale in the club shop.

The club say Wimbledon Confidential, the memoirs of Pat Edwards, who was transport manager for 32 years, is not being stocked because they only sell books they don't publish themselves in exceptional circumstances due to having little room available.

Yet Wimbledon did sell former tournament referee Alan Mills's book, Lifting the Covers.

Perhaps the real reason that the Edwards paperback — which wouldn't take up much space — didn't get similar treatment is the criticism of Henman.

Pat recalls a TV initiative, with the support of the All England Club, in which one of her drivers would have cameras in the car for a day. By chance, a pick-up for Henman was the first televised journey.

Later that day Edwards received a call from a furious Tim complaining a TV crew had been sent to interview him. 'He just assumed he was the important one,' wrote Pat. She later received a call from Wimbledon chief executive Chris Gorringe telling her to apologise to Henman, who had complained to the club and his IMG agent.

Edwards added: "Perhaps the club should apologise to the driver who was trying to do her job and was torn off a strip by Tim, which really upset her. That tantrum didn't endear me to Tim and I was not best pleased with the club, whose idea it had been in the first place."

FA eye Ritchie

The FA, who have to find an independent chairman as part of the Burns Report reforms, will be casting a covetous eye in the direction of Ian Ritchie, the All England Club chief executive. Ritchie has managed to make a success of being the first independent director of the Football League, with all their different factions. However, he still puts his tennis duties first, judging by his decision to go to the French Open rather than the League's summer meeting junket in the Algarve.

Federer in a fizz

Four-time champion and Coca-Cola drinker Roger Federer is understood to be one of a number of players not impressed that he can't find his favourite soft drink on tap in the locker rooms unlike in previous years. Coca-Cola have terminated their supply deal as well as their pouring rights at the All England Club as part of a worldwide review of their sponsorship agreements.

Ryan's hearing aid

Bill Ryan, agent of sidelined British Davis Cup coach Peter Lundgren, had a bizarrely different explanation for his client's slurring performance at the LTA coaches conference, which has led to Lundgren being sent home for a month to sort out drink-related problems.

Ryan, who also looks after Davis Cup captain John Lloyd, said: 'Peter gets very nervous in those sort of situations and doesn't hear very well out of one ear. He's a tennis coach, not a public speaker.' John McEnroe, BBC pundit and much else, never approved of Swede Lundgren's appointment.

He said dismissively at the Masters tournament at the Royal Albert Hall last December: 'What can Lundgren teach young players, apart from how to go into a bar and order a drink.' Although the LTA wouldn't divulge where Lundgren would be going to combat his personal demons, help happens to be just around the corner from the organisation's £40million headquarters in Roehampton at The Priory.

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