Jack’s the lad: Great-grandad going strong with Rusty Racquets group

GREAT grandfather Jack Millin is still playing tennis at the age of 93 with an aptly named Rusty Racquets group.

And the Priory Tennis Club member hopes his story inspires others.

Jack Millin

“I have proved it is never too late to come back to tennis or start from scratch. It is also a great way to keep fit,” Jack said.

Jack, of Woodend Lane, Stalybridge, only returned to the sport in his seventies.

He explained: “I went to stay with friends in Florida and they told me to take my tennis shoes.

“When I joined Priory on my return, I couldn’t find anyone to play during the day so I persuaded them to let me form a ‘Rusty Racquets’ group for retired people.

“We have about 20 members and they can play 9am-4.30pm weekdays for half subscription. And we have a regular group that meets on Monday and Friday at 10am.”

Jack, who still plays once a week, says their group has broken down barriers and the notion you have to play against opponents of a similar ability.

And Jack comes alive on the court as he explained: “I have problems walking on rough ground and when going downhill need a stick.

“But the courts at Priory are level and like carpets so is a safe environment to play on.”

And there was a thrill recently for Jack when he got to play against former Wimbledon players Danny Sapsford and Luke Milligan during a Brighter Ideas for Tennis initiative at Priory.

Jack in action on the Priory courts

Jack teamed up with the club’s junior champion, 12-year-old Ciaran Dale to play a friendly tie break against ex-Davis Cup pair Sapsford and Milligan.

Jack first played tennis when he was in the Royal Air Force Air Crew – he was a wireless operator and air gunner, flying bombing missions with the South African Air Force over Italy during the Second World War.

He initially played at Albion Tennis Club, Ashton, where his then wife-to-be Mary was a champion player.

Jack, whose second wife Vivienne is also still playing aged 82, worked in the family painting and decorating and scaffold hire business in Ashton and he attributes this manual work to having good upper-body strength.

Today Jack, apart from his tennis commitments, is also involved with Tameside Rotary and Tameside Armed Services Community.


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