Author, broadcaster, Question of Sport host for former tennis star Sue Barker brought the house down as the latest sporting superstar to sit in the hot seat for a SporTedd fundraiser.
She told hilarious stories from her career as a young tennis player from Paignton, Devon, and her legendary coach Arthur Roberts, who insisted on never being paid and when she finally did pay him he secretly invested the money in a trust fund for her.
She told of her matches with tennis greats such as Bjorn Borg, Ilie Nastase and her great friend and supporter Billie Jean King and even spoke briefly of her friendship with Cliff Richard.
New SporTedd Chair Trevor Alldridge fired the questions despite Sue taunting him for trying to show her – an experienced broadcaster – how to use a microphone!
Sue recalled winning the French Open in 1976 when she was just 20 years old and losing a semi-final at Wimbledon to Betty Stove when, if she had won, she would have faced Virginia Wade in the final. At one stage, she was Number 3 in the world.
The evening raised nearly £4,000 with raffle prizes including tickets for England v Italy at Twickenham this weekend, a UEFA Champions League tie as well as other tickets and the now traditional cardboard cut-out of the guest which was won by Teddington resident David Gooch. Sue generously signed the cut-out with the words: “The worst prize of the evening!”
Among the 100 guests at the sell-out dinner was close friend and Britain’s former number one tennis player Anne Keothavong, who is now captain of the GB women who play in the Billie Jean Cup against France in April.
Sue, who happily posed for photos with delighted guests, also generously signed three copies of her recent best-selling autobiography Calling the Shots which were offered as raffle prizes too.
She will be reunited with former Question of Sport captains Matt Dawson and Phil Tufnell when she joins them on the road with a new live sports quiz called Extra Time.
Trevor Alldridge also announced that Founder Chair, Stuart Higgins, who has stepped down, has agreed to be SporTedd President. He thanked the guests for their support and the event organisers who have previously secured guests including Tim Henman, Gary Lineker, Lord Coe, Sir Clive Woodward, Jason Leonard and Damon Hill.