Sandal have an ace in tennis-mad Allan

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TENNIS stars from around the world are battling for Grand Slam glory at Wimbledon this week but a tennis fanatic from Sandal has received a top honour of his own for more than 60 years of service to the sport.

Allan Witts has been an integral part of Sandal Tennis Club since he first picked up a racket and his efforts have been recognised in the shape of an award from the Yorkshire Lawn Tennis Association (YLTA).

The 74-year-old, who lives just half a mile from the Walton Lane club and is still treasurer, collected the award at the YLTA’s annual general meeting after being nominated by several of the club’s committee.

He was one of just three tennis enthusiasts from around the county to be honoured with an ‘outstanding service as a club member’ accolade.

And he’s hoping his award helps to encourage others become involved in the grass roots game.

“You try and put something back into the things you’re involved in and that’s what I’m doing,” he said.

“I know the award has my name on it but it represents the club as a whole, I do it all for the club.

“If you’re a member of something you’ve got to help out if it’s going to continue and that’s what I’m doing.

“Hopefully other people will follow suit.”

Allan has been treasurer of the club since 1967 after taking over the role from his father, who was then promoted to become president, and still plays for the second team he helped form in 1964.

Most of his work now takes place off the court, with court maintenance and club accounts a priority.

He also helped the club achieve their first ever Clubmark award this year.

And president John Savage doesn’t know what the club would do without him.

“He is an excellent ambassador for the club and is well known and respected throughout the county,” he said.

“Allan keeps the accounts in good order and we are fortunate and privileged that he is part of our club.”

See today’s Wakefield Express Sport for all the latest sports news from around the district.