As a young schoolboy Fred Perry stood by the Liverpool dockside watching warships return from Zeebrugge, a moment that defined his childhood. He decided there and then that he wanted to explore the world on an ocean liner; a wish he was granted twenty years later when he sailed to America as part of Britain’s elite amateur tennis team.
On and off the court Perry was never less than immaculate. He had acquired an international reputation as a stylish sporting icon who always looked the part, ultimately appearing in the pages of Esquire magazine when he was named Britain’s best dressed man. Even on his travels he always aspired to look as smart as possible. He once said, “I’m a great believer in trying to look the part. It’s a fetish with me.” Perry had gained the adulation of the man in the street, and became something of a working-class hero, idolised by the masses for his sporting achievements. He provided a unique blueprint for the likes of George Best and Alex Higgins: talented working-class men who followed in his path and ultimately achieved sporting immortality through dedication to their profession.