James Leonard

01 May 2013

James Leonard passed away on Sunday 28th April.

During the swinging sixties, James and Charles Swallow spent many hours swinging Rackets racquets either with or against each other at Queen’s. During this period, the pair managed to win both the Amateur Singles and Doubles and in turn became Open Champions. Unfortunately they failed to dislodge the indomitable Geoffrey Atkins from his perch as World Champion from where he ruled the Rackets world for 17 years.

James was a talented ball games player who used his fine analytical mind to exploit his opponents' weaknesses and work out an often unorthodox strategy. Variations of pace and unusual angles excited him more than classic cross court kills. His idol was the celebrated Jim Dear whose ball control in Rackets, Real Tennis and Squash earned him three World Titles.

The sporting rivalry on the court blossomed into a long standing friendship over the years. James became a frequent visitor to the Swallow household, which came to enjoy his behavioural eccentricities, his talent for crosswords and his mounting impatience with convention.

Sadly, James Leonard died 28th April. Many T&RA members will remember James very fondly. His sometimes irascible demeanour hid a heart of gold.

James Leonard with Dick Bridgeman, Geoffery Atkins and Charles Swallow.

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