Obituary – Peter Risdon (1946-2024)

Peter John Risdon died peacefully at St George’s Hospital on 8 June at the age of 78, after struggling with illness since early February.

A former stockbroker and director of BZW UK Equities Limited, he was involved with tennis for most of his life, primarily as a player, umpire and volunteer club official.

He took a two-year break from the City in 1982 to manage Lew Hoad’s Campo de Tenis in Spain, and opted for early retirement in 1997, concentrating his efforts on Celebrity Tennis, a consultancy he was the driving force behind forming, as well as on Woodfield Grove Tennis Club in Streatham, south London, where he served as Chairman for some 35 years.

Born on 3 February, 1946, Peter had been a member of Woodfield Grove since a child, and its staunchest supporter, acting as Men’s Captain and Treasurer before becoming the club’s longest serving Chairman, and helping to champion the club’s revival through the rebuilding of its facilities in 1999 via Lottery funding.

He was an integral part of the club’s golden playing era in the 1970s, when it fielded several teams in county competitions, and played some 31 friendly matches throughout the year with local clubs.

In 1975, Peter, together with fellow-member Gordon Blair, reached the finals of the Greater London Parks Doubles Championships, and the pair also reached the finals of the Surrey Doubles, twice.

Over the years, in the club tournament, Peter won 10 singles, 15 doubles and 13 mixed doubles titles, and was honoured in 2014 in celebration of fifty years since his first win there with the naming of the main tennis court.

Peter Risdon loved the game and everyone in it


The following year, 2015, the members presented a silver trophy to Peter to be used for a new event and, as a result, the Ris Team Cup was born, which continues to be played annually.

In 2017 Peter received the Tennis Surrey Meritorious Award for his long-time services to the game.

After stepping down as Chairman in 2019, Peter remained a stalwart at the club, visiting daily to have a coffee or a drink, watch some matches, and chat with whoever happened to be there, keeping abreast of the goings on.

He also liked to watch away matches in support of the various teams.

Peter served as Treasurer of the Tennis Industry Association UK, representing Celebrity Tennis, having first joined the management committee of the TIA UK Board in 2000 and was appointed Treasurer a year later, a role he diligently fulfilled until 2012 when the association was restructured.

He also acted as the referee for the Millennium Cup, a friendly competition between the clubs of Streatham, and championed many junior players over the years, revelling in their eventual success, starting with a young John Lloyd many years ago, the first of a long line of talented youngsters he supported.

Peter Risdon manning The Tennis Bookshop at The Queen's Club in 2005

Alan Chalmers

He was also a collector and dealer of tennis memorabilia, building a network of friends and colleagues, and helped Alan Chalmers with The Tennis Bookshop at  Queen’s, Eastbourne and the Royal Albert Hall for some 16 years.

Peter loved to follow different sports, and liked to bet on the horses, acting as an unofficial bookie for friends. He kept up with the golf, snooker and, of course, football.

He built lasting friendships with his sharp, rather dry, wit, while his warm personality provided a solid presence in so many of the lives he touched. He was generous and kind, loyal and fun. A true gentleman.

Amongst his many close, high profile, friends over the years were Lew Hoad and his family, John Lloyd and Chris Evert, and Maria Esther Bueno and Barbara Wancke, his wing-woman at Woodfield Grove, plus a myriad of others, too many to mention, within the wide world of tennis and beyond.

He will be sorely missed by so many.

In a curious twist of fate, Peter, like Maria Esther, died on French Open Women’s Singles finals day, Saturday 8 June, a fact he would have relished. God speed.

Peter John Risdon – Born 3 February 1946 / Died 8 June 2024

Through the years Peter Risdon was happiest behind the bar at Woodfield Grove, serving and chatting to members




Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Social Media Auto Publish Powered By :