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Farewell to Nigel Gordon 1951 to 2017

Aug 17, 2017
Former Rackets professional at Radley and long-time manufacturer of Rackets balls.

Tribute to Nigel

The T&RA is sad to report that Nigel Gordon passed away on 9th August 2017, aged 66.

Nigel Gordon died on 9th August, at the age of 66, after suffering a thoracic aortic dissection and cardiac tamponade whilst in his workshop making rackets balls for North America. He was rushed to hospital in Blackpool, but surgeons were unable to save him. The world of rackets send sincere condolences to his family, to his widow, Joanna, and their two children, Zoe and Sam, and Nigel and Joanna’s grandchildren.

Nigel was born on 5th July 1951 in Feltham, Middlesex, the son of Bill Gordon, the Rackets Professional at Marlborough and the manufacturer for more than 30 years of the G6 Rackets Ball which in the mid 1950s was chosen as the successor to the old Bailey ball.

From 1973 to 1977 Nigel was Rackets Pro at Radley, but then left the game and moved to Goodstone Farm, near Newton Abbot in Devon. At the start of the 1990s Nigel took over from his father, Bill, the manufacture of Rackets Balls using the famous machine developed at Marlborough by John Thompson, Jim Hurn and Melksham garage mechanic Charlie Vines. Over the next 25 years or so, Nigel made more than 40,000 balls which were used for all the Club, National and World Challenges played at The Queen’s Club, and used by a number of Schools Courts and by various Clubs in North America. Without the huge commitment to the manufacture of rackets balls by Nigel, and a similar number of over 40,000 hand-wound balls from Peter Ashford, the Game of Rackets could have withered away for lack of good balls.

In 2013/4 Nigel and Joanna moved to Arnside in Cumbria, from where Nigel could indulge his passion for sailing, especially aboard his pride and joy, his yacht, Samphire.

Joanna has established a Tribute site to Nigel which can be accessed via http://nigel.f.gordon.muchloved.com and clicking on The Nigel Gordon Forever by the SEA Tribute Fund.

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