Welcome to the International Club of Ireland
"Hands across the net, friendship across the ocean "
To set the game above renown,
To love the game beyond the prize,
To honour, while you strike him down,
The foe that comes with fearless eyes,
To count the life of battle good,
And dear the land that gave you birth,
And dearer yet the brotherhood,
That binds the brave of all the earth.
-Sir Henry Newbolt...
From the Chairman:
Paul lost his brave battle with ALS last week. We'll miss him.
His exceptional tennis career has been and will be the subject of many glowing tributes, first as a player and then giving back to the game in significant ways: grand slam tennis player, Davis Cup captain, head of men's tennis at the LTA...
He made a particular and lasting contribution to the International Club.
We searched the archive for a picture we knew we would not find: Paul in an IC tie, Paul in any tie...
Most of the photos we have of Paul show him giving that careful attention he always gave to everything he did, however grand however un-grand. We turned to Paul when we knew we needed to launch something big that had to be sustainable: the now world-wide IC Junior Challenge (16s and under). He set the gold standard for us as our first Tournament Director at European regional finals at the Vincennes Club in Paris in 2005.
We turned to Paul when we knew we needed to bring the International Club, at the Council level especially, into the modern world - more professional, more in tune with the modern game, but which still respected the sporting spirit of the game which was ingrained in the history and traditions of the IC. It was Paul's role, for several years on the Executive Committee of the Council, to ask us all those difficult questions about governance and participation: what value did the IC add for its members, what value did the IC add to the game of tennis? These were difficult questions. We didn't always have the kind of answers that satisfied Paul: he was persistent in his search for something tangible. It kept us honest and it keeps us honest to this day.
At the end of our, often long, discussions, Paul's serious face would break into a smile (the one in the photo we’ve chosen), and he'd say: "OK, Peter, but you can see why I am asking, can't you?" I could. I'd then go off to host the lunch in my jacket and tie; and he, in his smart tracksuit, would disappear into the stands quickly to watch and mentor new British talent.
Paul also gave the International Club Shali and their wonderful family full of IC members to whom our hearts go out.