Squash club hosts major event in memory of champion Payne

    SEASONED PRO Colin Payne (left) beat Fredrik Johnson at this year’s British Open Over-50 final in Hull

    TUNBRIDGE WELLS Squash Club has held a professional standard tournament in memory of former member Colin Payne, who died in November.

    The Colin Payne Tournament, the club’s third Professonal Squash Association Open event, was held on London Road on January 13-14.

    Tunbridge Wells Squash Club Chairman John Croft said: “Colin has been a stalwart member of the club and a first team player for many years.

    “He is well known in the wider squash community having won the British Over-50s title. He was Kent champion five times and won the county over-35 title 10 times.

    He added: “Colin was instrumental in bringing the first professional tournament to the club in 2014 and has been a leading light in the squash scene for most of his adult life.”

    ‘Colin was instrumental in bringing the first
    professional tournament to the club’

    Mr Payne’s partner Ina Herridge was present to hand out the prizes to the winners.

    The tournament featured some of the leading lights of the sport. Richie Fallowes, the world No 62, successfully defended his title by defeating fellow Englishman Charles Sharpes, who is 50th in the world rankings.

    GOOD FALLOWES Chairman John Croft with men’s winner Richie Fallowes
    GOOD FALLOWES Chairman John Croft with men’s winner Richie Fallowes

    Sharpes was making his debut in the event but has previously played at the club when he took on the former world No 1 James Willstrop in an -exhibition event.

    Among the overseas contingent were Lance -Beddoes of New Zealand, who recently claimed his first ever PSA World Tour title, and Portugal’s Rui Soares.

    The Ladies’ event featured England’s Millie Tomlinson, twice champion and current title holder who has reached her highest world ranking at No 35.

    RISING STAR Hot prospect Elise Lazarus with Mr Payne’s partner Ina Herridge
    RISING STAR Hot prospect Elise Lazarus with Mr Payne’s partner Ina Herridge

    She overcame the five-time British junior champion Elise Lazarus, who made her first appearance at the event at the age of 16 and is one of the leading female English prospects.