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  • Published: 1 September 2010
  • ISBN: 9781409077114
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 320

The Last Champion

The Life of Fred Perry

The William Hill longlisted biography of Britain's greatest tennis player.

Discover the ultimate read for any tennis fan.

'The first clear-eyed account of an extraordinary life' Independent on Sunday

Wimbledon champion three times in the 1930s, Fred Perry is the finest tennis player that Britain has ever produced. Less well known is that Perry came from an unprivileged background and found himself - despite his supreme talent - an outsider in a sport that looked down on the advancement of the under-classes.

Not afraid to ruffle a few establishment feathers, Perry discarded his hallowed amateur status in 1936 and turned professional. He compounded this perceived sin by taking out US citizenship when the Second World War broke out. He embraced his new country wholeheartedly. From Hollywood to Florida, Perry led a scandalous private life, marrying four times and charming himself into the beds of numerous Hollywood starlets and beautiful models along the way.

The Last Champion is the first biography of Fred Perry. Through extensive research and revealing interviews, Jon Henderson, tennis correspondent of the Observer, brilliantly tells the remarkable story of this remarkable man.

Longlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award.

  • Published: 1 September 2010
  • ISBN: 9781409077114
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 320

About the author

Jon Henderson

Jon Henderson, a sportswriter for more than 45 years, has reported events from around the world working for Reuters and national newspapers, including the Observer and Guardian. His assignments included five Olympic Games and two World Cups. He is the author of three books: Best of British, The Last Champion: The Life of Fred Perry, and The Wizard: The Life of Stanley Matthews.

Also by Jon Henderson

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Praise for The Last Champion

A compelling tome, one that traces an extraordinary life

The Times

A compelling portrait of a great sportsman.

Max Davidson, Mail on Sunday

The first clear-eyed account of an extraordinary life. Book of the Week

Simon Redfern, Independent on Sunday


Daily Mail


Sunday Express

A great story, far meatier than the average sporting biography. Henderson has researched it well, tells it nicely and weighs up conflicting evidence wisely.

Matthew Engel

Book of the Week

Radio 4

The Last Champion was no doubt conceived not only to celebrate the centenary of Perry's birth but in the hope that this year at last there might be another British player with the grit, speed and ingenuity to win Wimbledon...the book is worth reading, in any case, not just for the portrait of the unstoppable Fred but for the easy-flowing manner in which Jon Henderson, the doyen of tennis correspondents, evokes the glamour of the sporting 1930s.

Ferdinand Mount, TLS

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