About Our History
The Vagabonds Lawn Tennis Club was founded in 1908 as an all men's club for the "SONS OF GENTLEMEN". The courts were leased from Liverpool Corporation Tramway Athletics Club and were situated in Lister Drive off Green Lane near the tramsheds then there. During the 1914-18 war, many members were on active service.
In 1923 it was decided that the courts were not good enough and a piece of land in Sandfield Park was purchased with an entrance from the park. Enthusiastic members worked to clear the site, including the felling of trees. The courts were constructed on a limited budget.
An ex-American Army hut abandoned after the war was purchased and re-erected as the pavilion. This still exists today as the centre part of the clubhouse.
In April 1924 the new courts were opened and shortly afterwards two single-decker tramcars were acquired, one to house equipment and the other to be the Guest Ladies dressing room. Four grass courts were available to serve a membership of 100, all men. Later four hard courts
were built. As the club prospered the ladies dressing-room was replaced with a permanent extension.
In 1930 an LTA open tournament was held, and about this period a new entrance was opened from Queens Drive, and a car park added. A serious fire in the 1930s resulted in a new kitchen and bar being built. The standard of play was excellent and the club became one of the leading clubs in the North West, a position it has maintained.
war lady associate
members were admitted due to the shortage of male players, and after the war ladies became full members. The mixed club maintained its high standard, including the organising of the Merseyside Open
Tournament which had an international reputation. The Tournaments over the years also attracted
many top names including ANN HOBBS, JO DURIE, LESLIE BOWRY and WENDY TURNBULL. The club even refused JOHN McENROE entry to the Tournament when he was 16, because his entry was late. Two weeks later he was in the Wimbledon semi-final against JIMMY CONNORS.
In 1974 a Vagabond - MARK FARRELL, playing with Lesley Charles, reached the final of the Mixed
Doubles at Wimbledon, despite Billie Jean King struggling with Mark's service they
lost to her and her Partner Owen Davidson.
In 1982 the inside of club house was fitted out with a new bar and new seating. Also in that period a new changing room was built for the members The commitment to high quality competition has
produced many outstanding successes over the years - see the Roll of Honour for more information.
The men’s 1st team have been
champions of both Lancashire and
Liverpool. The men and ladies have held all the local "knockout"
trophies. The teams have also done well in the national competitions, reaching the finals of the "SILK CUT" cup national club tournament at Queens Club in London in 1985, the finals of the Slazenger Division 2 in 1986 and the quarter finals of the Puma/Slazenger Division in 1987.
In 1988 they again reached the later stages of the Puma. Both the men’s and ladies 1st and 2nd teams play in division "A" of the Liverpool league.
On the 2nd April 1989 work began on the £100.000 transformation of the Vagabonds L.T.C. Work continued steadily for about 7-8 weeks, and on the 24th May 1989the courts ( after a few problems) were completed. The transformation was nothing short of astounding with the Clubhouse and the courts being transformed to meet the requirements for the tennis player and social member in the 1990's.
Over the following 15 years the courts served the tennis members well. Towards the end of 2002 it was clear that the Synthetic grass courts were coming to the end of their life and needed to be replaced.In April of 2004 work started on replacing them, this also included replacement of netting, relaying of drains and resurfacing the back of the club house.
After many years
the club house was in need of repair and up grading. The whole of club house roof was refelted, the central heating system was replaced, a new door entry system was installed, the whole
of the inside of the club was decorated, and the floor tiles were replaced
though out the club. The club furniture was also replaced and wall seating was recovered.
In January 2009 our Club Chairman, Mike McBrien was elected
Chairman of the Lancashire LTA.The Men's First Team once again won the 1st Division of the Liverpool League.In 2011 the first team and the third team was taken out of the Liverpool League, this was done to allow us to concentrate on the overall tennis side of the Vags and to provide 'proper' coaching for all at the Club.
Nov 2011Chairman Mike McBrien was awarded the Torch Trust Trophy Award. This was presented to him by the Princess Alexandra at the Army and Navy Club in London