2nd November 2015 – Mike Davies, 79
Welsh tennis player who made it to the Fourth Round of Wimbledon in 1954. In the doubles, he reached the 1960 Wimbledon final, the same year he was ranked British Number One. He was later banned for turning professional.
“Davies, still the only Welsh player to have reached a Wimbledon final, had learnt to play the game on the municipal courts at Cwmdonkin Park in his native Swansea. Discovered in junior competitions by Fred Perry, he became Britain’s number one player in 1956 and, from 1955 to 1960, won 15 of 22 Davis Cup singles and nine of 15 doubles (with Billy Knight, Roger Becker or Bobby Wilson). In 1960 he and Wilson reached the final of the Men’s Doubles at Wimbledon, where they were cheered on by the crowd but beaten in straight sets by the Mexican Rafael Osuna and the American Denis Ralston. Davies was never popular with the powers-that-be in the Lawn Tennis Association, however. “It was mutual,” he recalled later. “They couldn’t stand the sight of me and I couldn’t stand the sight of them. End of story.” Davies had good reason for his hostility, though he admitted that he had sometimes been his own worst enemy. In his autobiography Tennis Rebel (1961), he recalled that as a teenager he had hated losing so much that he was prone to throwing John McEnroe-style tantrums. This outraged the LTA, who, he claimed, wanted “little Lord Fauntleroys who would say 'Yes-sir-no-sir-three-bags-full’ at the drop of a hat”. As a result, the “Cwmdonkin Rebel” was dropped from the LTA’s training scheme and had his funding withdrawn.”
2nd November 2015 – Peter Donaldson, 70
BBC radio newsreader.