A life-long husband-and-wife doubles partnership at Woodbridge Tennis Club celebrated a landmark game, set and love-match recently, marking their 50th anniversary as members of the popular club.
Tennis fans Max and Margaret Pemberton, who live in nearby Waldringfield, have been playing the sport at Woodbridge for half a century, and the pair still regularly enjoys getting on court for some social tennis twice a week.
Indeed, 83-year-old Max even met Margaret, 82, on a tennis court at nearby Charlsfield and romance quickly blossomed among the aces and top-spin winners. The pair went on to have four children who were also soon court-side regulars at Woodbridge from a young age. “When we started at Woodbridge, I was expecting my middle daughter,” recalls Margaret. “We used to bring the children to the club and have them sitting on a rug while we played a few sets of tennis.” As the children grew up, the pair would take it in turns with the babysitting so that they could still indulge their passion.
While Max, who was a keen league player when he was younger, no longer plays competitively, he and Margaret firmly believe that tennis has been an essential part of their happily married life. “We enjoy the fresh air and it’s kept us active and fit, and it’s something we can do together. We also enjoy the club atmosphere and everyone is so friendly. We would recommend it for any young couple,” Max says.
So, what do they consider to be the best part of their game? “We will leave others to comment on our game. It’s not too late to improve!” They say they still take inspiration from their all-time tennis heroes, Rod Laver and Chris Everett.
Away from the court, they like to keep busy with other activities. “Tennis is just one of our interests,” the pair reveals with a smile. So, alongside Max spending time as a member of the Rotary Club and Margaret at the Inner Wheel, they love nothing better than escaping for some far-flung adventure holidays. “Wildlife holidays have been our favourite,” says Margaret. “We’ve been to Africa, Madagascar, the Arctic and Antarctic. We also love to go cruising about three times a year.”
And when the globe-trotting pair return from their regular excursions it’s not long before they’re picking up their rackets for a trip to Woodbridge. “We want to keep going and we’re not ready to put down our rackets just yet!” Proof that a couple who plays together, stays together!