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Fred Perry

tennis player
Full name: Frederick John Perry
Nickname: Fred
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Bio Frederick John "Fred" Perry was a championship-winning English tennis and table tennis player who won 10 Majors including eight Grand Slams and two Pro Slams. Perry won three consecutive Wimbledon Championships from 1934 to 1936 and was World Amateur number one tennis player during those three years. Prior to Andy Murray in 2013, Perry was the last British player to win the men's Wimbledon championship, in 1936 and was the last British player to win a men's singles Grand Slam title until Andy Murray won the 2012 US Open.

Perry was the first player to win all 4 Grand Slam singles titles (though not all in the same year) and completed this "Career Grand Slam" at the age of 26, remaining the only British player ever to achieve this. Although Perry began his tennis career aged 18, he was also a Table Tennis World Champion in 1929.

In 1933, Perry helped lead the Great Britain team to victory over France in the Davis Cup; the team's first success since 1912, followed by wins over the United States in 1934, 1935, and a fourth consecutive title with victory over Australia in 1936.

From 1927 to 1967, the International Lawn Tennis Federation, treated all amateur champions as though they no longer existed, from the moment they turned professional. Perry, who turned pro at the end of the 1936 season, suffered the same fate. Only in 1968, with the introduction of "Open Tennis" did this state of affairs come to an end. After becoming disillusioned with the class-conscious nature of the Lawn Tennis Club of Great Britain, the working-class Perry moved to the United States before becoming a naturalised US citizen in 1938. In 1942, he was drafted into the US Air Force during the Second World War.

Despite his unprecedented contribution to British tennis, Perry was not accorded full recognition by tennis authorities until his twilight years. In 1984, a statue of Perry was unveiled at Wimbledon, and in the same year Perry became the only tennis player listed in a survey of 2,000 Britons to find the "Best of the Best" British sportsmen of the 20th century.

Perry was born in Stockport, Greater Manchester in 1909 where his father, Samuel Perry (1877–1954), was a cotton spinner. For the first decade of his life, he also lived in Bolton and Wallasey because his father was involved in local politics. When living in Wallasey he attended Liscard Primary School. Perry moved to Brentham Garden Suburb in Ealing, west London aged nine when his father became the national secretary of the Co-operative Party after World War I. His father became the Co-operative Party Member of Parliament for Kettering in 1929.

Perry first began to play tennis on the public courts near his family's housing estate.He was educated at Ealing Grammar School for Boys.

Perry was one of the leading bachelors of the 1930s and his off-court romances were sensationalised in the world press. Perry had a romantic relationship with the actress Marlene Dietrich and in 1934 he announced his engagement to the British actress Mary Lawson, but the relationship fell apart after Perry relocated to America. In 1935 he married an American film star Helen Vinson, but their marriage ended in divorce in 1940. In 1941 he was briefly married to a model, Sandra Breaux. Then, in 1945, he married Lorraine Walsh, but that marriage also ended quickly. Perry's final marriage to Barbara Riese in 1952 lasted over forty years, until his death. They had two children Penny and David. The sister of Barbara (Bobby) Riese was the actress Patricia Roc.

Perry had an older sister Edith, they were both born in Stockport. Edith greatly supported her younger brother throughout his sporting achievements and passed her sporting enthusiasm on to both her sons Walter and Colin; and to Colin’s son Stefan Kerr who now lives in Denmark. Perry had a half sister, Sylvia, and has a great-nephew and great-niece, Daniel and Laura Nightingale Perry died in a hospital in Melbourne, Australia after breaking his ribs following a fall in a hotel bathroom.

In the late 1940s, Perry was approached by Tibby Wegner, an Austrian footballer who had invented an anti-perspirant device worn around the wrist. Perry made a few changes to create the first sweatband.

Wegner's next idea was to produce a sports shirt, which was to be made from white knitted cotton pique with short sleeves and a buttoned placket like René Lacoste's shirts. Launched at Wimbledon in 1952, the Fred Perry tennis shirt was an immediate success.

The white tennis shirt was only supplemented in the late 50s when mods began demanding more varied colour palettes. The Fred Perry shirt became the garment-of-choice for diverse groups of teenagers throughout the 1960s and 70s, ranging from the skinheads to the Northern soul scene.

The brand's logo is a laurel wreath. It was based on the original symbol for Wimbledon. The logo, which appears on the left breast of a garment, is stitched into the fabric of the shirt.

The brand is now owned by a Japanese corporation. The brand was previously the clothing sponsor of British tennis player Andy Murray.

Perry was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island in 1975.
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