The Portal November 2017 - Page 7

THE P RTAL November 2017 Page 7 Patti Fordyce Jackie Ottaway and Ronald Crane have been to visit Patti Fordyce W e settled in Patti Fordyce’s comfortable flat in West London. It has a spectacular view of the river Thames, which together with the refreshments she provided for us, made a very pleasant afternoon’s work. Many of you will know Patti from her involvement with LOGS, the Ladies’ Ordinariate Group. You may have seen her at the Ordinariate Festival in Westminster Cathedral Hall helping with the refreshments. She makes wonderful sandwiches. he was knocked off his motorbike when she was about four. He had a badly broken leg which didn’t get set properly and he wasn’t fit for duty anymore. He was offered a desk job and he decided he didn’t fancy that, so he sold insurance for a while and then trained as a teacher. What many of you may not know is that Patti is an American former At 17 Patti came to England to international tennis player. She play tennis. Tennis was not just a competed in the Wightman and job, she enjoyed it. She loved what Federation Cups, representing the you can do with a ball and a racket. U.S.A. a number of times, from 1970 She added, “I’m quite competitive to 1973. Together with compatriot too. Peggy Michel, she reached the final of the doubles event at the 1969 Wimbledon “I started tennis when I was eight. My dad found an Championships. old racket at the back of the cupboard and suggested I might like to play tennis because there was no future In 1967 she won the All England Plate, a competition for a girl in baseball. That would have been my first for players who were defeated in the first or second choice. rounds of the Wimbledon singles competition. In July 1973 she won the singles title at the North of England “He had this broken leg so he would sit on a chair Championships in Hoylake after defeating compatriot in our garage and throw balls to me in the driveway. Sharon Walsh in the final in three sets. I would hit them back into the garage so we didn’t have to walk very far to pick them up. After a while Patti was born in San Diego, California and was there I got good at using him as target practice, so then he until she was about 20. “I always tell people I came to thought it was time for me to graduate to a court. England for the first time for six weeks, the second time for three months and the third time I just stayed!” “He would stand in the middle of a court with a basket of balls and hit them to me and I would hit them She discovered how serious a Catholic her father around the court. After nine months it was decided if was when he was taken ill and she was going through I was enjoying it that much I should have some lessons his wartime trunk. Her mother would have described so I could play properly. They took me to this guy who herself as a Christian, but wouldn’t have claimed any had one leg, who taught at the local park and turned denomination. out to be Maureen Connolly’s first coach. (She won Wimbledon 1951-1953.) “My childhood was quite messy from a religion point of view. I remember walking back from church “He was amazing. He could do anything with a ball if when I must have been about three, and I remember he could get near it. What he couldn’t do with a serve my mother saying to my father, “Well, that’s it; if you just wasn’t worth doing. He was an incredible coach. want this child to go to Mass you take her because l He said to me, ‘You see that wall over there. When you will not”. That was pretty much it; my dad took me to can hit that wall 500 times without missing you can Mass, sort of on and off. call yourself a tennis player.’ I never managed it.” An only child, Patti’s father was a policeman until She met her husband, Ian, at the end of 1974. She