Why did you join the Berkshire Squash Committee?
England Squash are introducing new governance standards which was obviously extra workload for an already hard working committee so there was no resource. Dave Weston suggested to Simon that with my background in local government I might be able to help. A brief telephone conversation later and I was appointed as the Governance Manager.
Where and when did you start playing squash?
I first started playing squash in 1978, after popping down to watch the local junior rugby teams playing, to decide which one to play for. It was so brutal I left at half time and visited a new squash club developed in an old church in Galashiels, Scotland. Half an hour later, I’d joined and bought the Jahangir Khan wooden racket, blue shorts and yellow top!
Who was your biggest influencer in the game?
There are two really. First was Geoff Hunt since I adored his attritional style of play and those that know me might recognised the approach, if not the ability. The second was the Club Manager in Galashiels who, when asked by me how a fit 18 year old could lose to an ancient 35 year old, he told me I should avoid hitting the tin so much! I wish he’d told me to learn to play better squash – think of all the 5 setters I could have avoided!
What was your most important squash development?
Joining Caversham Squash club in 1989, when I moved to England from Northern Ireland. I had the pleasure of being Rick Weatherall and Luke Gojnik’s training muse. They were a much better standard than me, but my high fitness levels made it worth their while to train with me. That and there weren’t too many other squash players on shift work. This training really helped my game, as most of my matches were in slow motion compared to the Caversham boys.
What was your most significant squash event?
Hungarian Open Champion in 1992. I’m not entertaining any debate about the standard – I beat four different nationalities to win! Also, Scottish Over 45 Champion in 2005, 2006 and 2007. I also enjoyed playing in the Home Internationals between 2005 and 2008, where I won about 50% of my matches.
What is your proudest squash moment?
My third Scottish Over 45 victory, where I was ‘under the cosh’ but came back from 7-6 down in the 5th to win with some really precise squash – “the Ice Man cometh” was the first comment I heard upon leaving the court.
What other squash successes have you had?
- I’ve won the club championship at Beaconsfield, Hithercroft, Caversham and Wellington College between 1990 and 2000.
- Part of the Caversham team that won the National Club Championship in the 1990s.
- Played for Ulster from 1984 to 1986.
- Played for Berkshire at seniors, over 35s and over 45s from 1990 to 2015.