Fred was the son of a cotton spinner and a socialist MP, who, against all the odds, went on to win Wimbledon three times with a killer forehand at a time when tennis was an elitist sport.
It was at the Brentham Club he first became interested in watching and playing sport because it was on his doorstep, and free.
Fred loved table-tennis. He’d drive everybody in his family crazy, pushing the kitchen table up against the wall every evening, hit the ball over a net and onto the wall - over and over.
Fred taught himself to play in this way. He was world table tennis champion at 19.
He switched to lawn tennis.
He honed his self-taught shots at Brentham with a tatty old racket his father gave him, and a do-it-yourself hatchet grip. He would practice on hard and grass courts, and if they weren’t available, he’d practice on the bowling greens until he was chased off.