Full name Spencer William Gore
Born March 10, 1850, Wimbledon Common, Surrey
Died April 19, 1906, Ramsgate, Kent (aged 56 years 40 days)
Major teams Gentlemen of the South, I Zingari, Surrey
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm fast (roundarm)
Education Harrow School
|First-class span||1874 - 1879|
Spender Gore's impact on the world of cricket was minimal. A good club cricketer, he captained the Harrow XI and made two appearances for Surrey as well as first-class outings for I Zingari and Gentlemen of the South.
But it was as a tennis player in the early days of the sport that he made his - albeit brief - mark. Born and raised near Wimbledon Common, when the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club was formed in 1877 (tennis, which operated under laws drawn up by the MCC) and held its first Championships, Gore who was more of a racquets and real tennis enthusiast, entered. He played four matches without dropping a set, winning the final (which had been delayed for three days because of rain and postponed for another two so as not to clash with Eton v Harrow at Lord's) 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 in front of 200 spectators. He won 12 guineas and a silver cup presented by The Field.
Gore's tactics were simple. He served - roundarm in those day - and then rushed the net. Given that the net was much higher at the sides it made passing shots all the harder and his serve-and-volley approach worked. The following year he met Frank Hadow in the final (as it was a challenge tournament, Gore was an automatic finalist) but lost 7-5, 6-1, 9-7. He later said he found tennis rather boring.
Wimbledon Gentlemen's Singles champion 1877
Also: the fastest Indian to 50 wickets, and Yasir Shah's unwanted "double-hundred"