Published: 06/08/2021 By Allan Fuller
What is the full official name of the grounds where the Wimbledon tennis tournament is held?
The club has 375 full members, about 100 temporary playing members, and a number of honorary members, including past Wimbledon singles champions and people who have rendered distinguished service to the game. To become a full or temporary member, an applicant must obtain letters of support from four existing full members, two of whom must have known the applicant for at least three years. The name is then added to the candidates' list. Honorary members are elected from time to time by the club's committee. Membership carries with it the right to purchase two tickets for each day of the Wimbledon Championships. In addition to this all champions are invited to become members.
The club was founded by six gentlemen at the offices of The Field on 23 July 1868 at the height of a croquet craze as the All England Croquet Club, and held its first croquet competition in 1870. Its original ground was situated off Worple Road, Wimbledon. Croquet was very popular there until the then-infant sport of lawn tennis (a game introduced by a Major Walter Clopton Wingfield a year or so prior, and originally called Sphairistikè was introduced in 1875, when one lawn was set aside for this purpose. The first tennis gentlemen's championship in singles was held in July 1877, when the club changed its name to The All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club. That year at Wimbledon service was underarm, and the champion, Spencer Gore, is on record as saying ‘Lawn tennis will never rank among our great games.’ How wrong he was!