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League History

1947/48 – Following the end of World War II, a committee of representatives from local tennis clubs started up a new mens and ladies tennis league for tennis clubs in the Huddersfield and surrounding areas. It was established as the ‘Huddersfield Royal Infirmary Examiner Lawn Tennis League’, sponsored by the local ‘Examiner’ newspaper. All proceeds of the league were to be donated to the Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.

The leagues ran May to August each year, with clubs competing from all parts of  Huddersfield and surrounding areas, teams such as, Brook Motors, Emley, Greetland, Lindley, Holmbridge and Rashcliffe Parish Church, now replaced with the clubs we see today. It was a simple format; 3 couples per team, 2 short sets per match against each couple, commonly known as a ‘rubber’ with promotion and relegation between divisions.

1951 – A ‘League Constitution’ was created of simple rules and guidelines made up from experience so far.  From early minutes of meetings, similar problems are still being discussed and debated today, such as bad light, inclement weather, team selections, etc!

An annual ‘Dinner & Dance’ was started to raise funds for the league, which was held at ‘Cambridge Road Baths’ , and adverts were placed in the ‘Examiner’. This presentation evening soon became the social highlight of the 1950’s with sumptuous menus and dancing to live bands until midnight. Trophies were presented by famous sporting guests, such as Lionel Cooper, Vic Metcalf, Len Hutton, Derek Ibbotson and Fred Truman. Trolley buses were booked to ferry people to and from the venue. (Len Hutton, became increasingly loyal to the league by supplying the Slazenger match balls for the league through his company)

Other social events included; ‘Sportsmans Dinners’, visits to the Slazenger tennis factory in Horbury, individual club mixed tournaments at Mirfield, Grove, I.C.I recreation club, followed by picnics for the families

1952 – Inter-town matches played at Greenhead Park, with great rivalry against the Halifax and Bradford leagues.

1953 – League title changed to the ‘Huddersfield & District Tennis League’ (HADTL). The first ‘League Handbook’ printed. Team entry fees were 2/6 per team with all proceeds going to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.

1955 – Annual League Mens & Ladies Tournament held at Huddersfield Y.M.C.A Club, Laund Hill.

1960 – Junior Tennis co-ordinator appointed for the Huddersfield area by the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA).

1964 – League stipulated matches must finish before the start of ‘Huddersfield Engineers’ holidays

1970 – New clubs formed at Holmfirth Parish Church, Newsome and Netherton.

1974 – Match format changed to replace rubber, to two twelve point tie break sets, followed by a traditional long set.

1976 – White match balls replaced by fluoresecent yellow balls, supplied by ‘Barker Sports‘ of Huddersfield and ‘Jack Lees’ of Halifax.

1979 – ‘Exchange Tournament’ took place, followed by a large social party with Huddersfield’s German twin-town ‘Kreis Unna‘. 24 players embarked on this tour, which became a regular bi–annual fixture.

2014 – a ‘Winter Mixed Doubles’ League was started.

2020 – 78 Mens and Ladies teams entered from 18 clubs, along with numerous Junior and Intermediate teams, within the District.  Unfortunately the Covid 19 Pandemic meant that matches could not take place this year.

2021 – Despite the continued Pandemic, matches were allowed to take place outside and the league organised friendly matches for those who wished to play, which was welcomed by many after the restrictions of the past 18 months.

2022 – Match play returned to normal format this year – Unfortunately since the Pandemic we saw a reduction in entries with 38 Mens and 27 Ladies teams from 19 clubs. 12 Junior/Intermediate teams entered from 8 clubs.

Thanks for Richard Smith, Treasurer, for researching this article.

We welcome any further contributions to this article – have you any old Handbooks, photos, etc?? If so please email

League Winners from 2005 to date