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Tributes to top York tennis ace Wendy Shepherd
10:41am Tuesday 8th May 2012 in Sport
WENDY SHEPHERD, one of York’s finest tennis players of the 1970s and 1980s, has died in York Hospital at the age of 60 after a three-year battle against breast cancer.
York-born Shepherd, who won 19 York Municipal Tennis Tournament titles, was educated at Red House School in Malton and then went to Bedford College of Physical Education.
She became a PE teacher and was head of girls’ games at St Peter’s School in York for more than 30 years.
Fellow tennis player Margaret Whitehead, who also taught at St Peter’s, said: “Wendy was an inspirational teacher. She was determined on court and that quality was in evidence in her long spell of ill-health.”
Shepherd, who also taught at Bar Convent and Bootham schools, won her first York under-18s singles title in 1970.
In the Municipal competition, she was singles champion once, doubles champion 13 times – seven with Whitehead and six with Jane Hutt – and mixed doubles winner five times – three with Andrew Cooke and two with Keith Turner.
Turner, who partnered Shepherd for four years in the York Mixed Doubles League with Terry’s, said: “She was a very good player and a fantastic person. We had many happy hours together on court.”
Shepherd was a member of York Tennis Club for almost 40 years and was in the team that pulled off a major shock when winning the Yorkshire League division one title.
She was a regular member of the York team that won 20 successive York Mixed Doubles League division one championships in the 1970s and 1980s.
As well as serving on the York Tennis Club committee, Shepherd was on the York Squash Club committee. She was a runner-up in the York Squash Championships in 1990 and 2003, while winning the veteran’s title in 1997 and finishing second in 1996, 1999, 2001 and 2002.
Alison Sellars, a former chairman of York Squash Club, said: “Wendy made a huge contribution to the club.”
Shepherd is survived by her husband, Glen, son Nikolai and daughter Emma.
A funeral service will be held at St Peter’s School chapel on Friday, May 18, at 11am.