LTA revives Colour Honours

The LTA is reviving Colour Holders to recognise and celebrate players who have represented Great Britain in tennis competition.

It is great that Colour Holders has been revived to acknowledge all the players that have represented Great Britain in tennis. I feel proud to be a Colour Holder - there is great history to this programme and to see so many names on the list is fantastic. Virginia Wade, OBE

The programme will acknowledge wheelchair players alongside non-wheelchair players, marking 125 years since the first players competed for Great Britain in tennis at the 1896 Olympics in Athens.

To celebrate the launch of the new Colour Holders programme, the LTA has produced a video featuring contributions from Virginia Wade, Tim Henman and Peter Norfolk > Click HERE to view.

Historically, from the early 20th Century up until the 80’s, players would receive a ‘Colour’ when they played for Great Britain, the equivalent of receiving a cap in football or rugby.

Becoming a Colour Holder was indicated by a unique shield, which has been given a refresh and will be taken forward as the new symbol of Colour Holders.

As part of the re-introduction of the programme and following the collation of historical records, the LTA has produced a sequential list of all players to have ever represented Great Britain at tennis since those very first ones 125 years ago.

There are currently only 314 players ever to have done so, with each player having been allocated their own personal number to reflect their place on the list.


The British Davis Cup team celebrating their Championship win in 2015

© LTA

A player becomes a Colour Holder when they first step on court to represent Great Britain in one of the Davis Cup, Billie Jean King Cup (formerly the Fed Cup), Wheelchair Tennis World Team Cup or the Olympics & Paralympic Games.

Players who participated in two past international team tennis competitions – the Wightman Cup and Kings Cup – are also included on the Colour Holder list.

The programme will also provide the opportunity to collaborate and engage with Colour Holders as the LTA continues its work to open up tennis to many more people across Britain.

See all 314 Colour Holders & their individual sequential numbers

To see the full list of 314 Colour Holders to have represented Great Britain at tennis and their individual sequential numbers, click HERE.

There are currently 31 Colour Holders who are still playing competitive tennis.

Once their playing careers come to an end, they will join the LTA’s Colour Holders programme, a select group of former players to ensure that those that have given so much to British tennis during their playing careers remain connected to our sport.

“We are excited to relaunch Colour Holders to the British tennis community,” LTA CEO, Scott Lloyd said. “Representing your country in any sport is a special achievement, and tennis is no different.

“Through the reintroduction of the programme and the allocation of personal representative numbers to each player, it is an accomplishment that we want to ensure is widely recognised and celebrated for players past, present and future.”

The reintroduction of the programme has been done in consultation with former players and led by LTA President David Rawlinson.

“I’d like to thank all of those who have contributed to the development of the new programme,” Rawlinson said. “Representing your country provides a status that a player can carry with them for the rest of their lives, and the new Colour Holders programme allows us to celebrate that in a fitting way and ensure our leading players continue to feel a valued part of the British tennis family.”


Virginia Wade won 55 pro singles championships including Wimbledon in 1977

© LTA

Colour Holder No 144, Virginia Wade said: “It is great that Colour Holders has been revived to acknowledge all the players that have represented Great Britain in tennis.

“I feel proud to be a Colour Holder – there is great history to this programme and to see so many names on the list is fantastic.”

In addition to the 314 Colour Holders listed, James Auckland and Frances MacLennan have been granted Honorary Colour Holder status by the LTA.




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