Neil Baldwin, 59, has once again showed his prowess on the racquetball court by becoming the best player in England at over 55 age group level.

Neil, who recently took part in a nationwide competition, picked up the prize after dazzling his opponents across a weekend of intense action.

The event – held annually at Edgbaston Priory Club in Birmingham – has a pedigree for hosting big competitions with big name players which includes hosting a pre-Wimbledon ladies tennis tournament.

Neil, who has visited the club many times, wasn’t nervous about the prospect of becoming a national champion once more, something he last won in 2019. 

He entered the tournament as number 1 seed. He beat number 3 seed Marc Thornley 3-1 in the semi-final before defeating Jonathan Edwards, No2 seed in the country, in the final 3-0 (11-2, 11-7, 11-4). 

On winning the tournament he said: “It’s great to win again and to know I’m the best in the country at this sport in my age group. The bulk of players are in my age group in the sport so there is a lot of competition and there’s a very good standard of players.

“I’ve always enjoyed going to the tournament as you get to see the same people every year and I’ve made some good friends through it.” 

Neil has a long history with racket sports and has been a member of the Huddersfield Lawn Tennis and Squash Club stretching back to 1976. He also has a long history of going to national finals in racquetball.

Neil Baldwin

He said: “I’ve always been into racket sports from a young age playing everything from tennis and squash to racquetball and padel.

“I’ve been in every age group national final since 2011 (age groups span five years from over 35s/over 40s/over 45s up to the over 80s!) I first won the over 45s in 2011 and so far I’ve won nine national titles from over 45s to now over 55s.”

On the Huddersfield club specifically and how strong it is, Neil added: “HLTSC has a strong racketball section with Paul Haigh (over 60s) and Mark Francis (over 50s) also having won national titles in recent years. Both lost in close-run semis of their events this year.

“The club is really thriving and there are a lot of people involved with in it. I really enjoy being a part of a great club.”