Tag Archives: tennis

Anyone For ……

John Allan, Bridgetown WA, July 2021

I always associated Wimbledon with school summer holidays.
I never played tennis. There was what I assumed an ancient tennis racket hanging up in my Dad’s garage (it could have been a snow shoe come to think of it.).
We would dislodge it from it’s rusty nail and blow off the cobwebs.
As there was only one (from a one legged Inuit perhaps ?) we were more likely to use it in our improvised interpretation of rounders than tennis. It was also too heavy to lift above our heads (unleashing the huskies might have helped !)

Tennis wasn’t for the likes of us anyway. It was for posh Laurel Bank girls called Catriona and Ffiona who wouldn’t look at comprehensive school adolescent boys sideways. There was a tennis club hidden in a leafy lane near Bearsden Cross but they would set the dogs on you if they thought you were an outsider from Courthill or Castlehill.

Tennis was the telly for us so in the summer in 1971 I sat there watching as two Australians were competing in the Wimbledon ladies final.
One was the dour faced Margaret Court (now Pentecostal minister and public homophobe) and the other, 19 year old Aboriginal girl Evonne Goolagong.

I wasn’t sure what an ‘Aboriginal’ was back then but I thought she looked quite cute and I must admit, had a bit of a teenage crush on her. The rest is history and ‘my girl’ took the trophy.


She was prominent in finals and semifinals for the rest of the decade and won her second Wimbledon in 1980.
Six years later I was to land in the country of Ms Goolagong’s ancestors and I’ve lived here ever since.

This week Australians celebrate NAIDOC. For those of you north of Darwin, it stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee. It has its roots in the 1938 Day of Mourning, becoming a week long event in 1975. If I was cynical I would say it’s a week were privileged white folk pretend to be concerned about the plight of the first nations’ people and then ignore their issues for the next 51 weeks but the official line is it celebrates the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Straight Island peoples.

It’s fitting that Ash Barty, a proud Ngaragu woman should pick up the mantle from Evonne Goolagong Cawley, a proud Wikadjuri woman, some fifty years later.

……….and haven’t snow shoes improved over the last half century !

wall of fame

(by George Cheyne – Glasgow)

Sometimes Hollywood gets it right with the perfect movie – then somehow gets it so wrong with a stinker of a sequel.

I’m thinking of The Sting 2, Staying Alive – the follow-up to Saturday Night Fever – The Godfather 3 and any of the Jaws or Rocky efforts that came along after the originals.

Certain films deserve to be preserved for posterity without any money-chasing sequel. There’s a good reason why there isn’t a Citizen Abel, It’s A Wonderful Death, Chariots of Embers, Star Truces or Earl of the Rings.

The originals were flawless and deserve to be remembered that way. I would also include The Shawshank Redemption in that category but, for the purposes of healthy debate, let’s just say there was to be a Shawshank 2 – set four years after Andy Dufresne escaped the grim penitentiary.

That would place our hero back in the slammer rather handily at the start of the 1970s. Handily for our purposes, obviously, rather than his.  Presumably he’d be pissed off at being recaptured and dragged back to prison from his fishing boat in Mexico.

But the burning question for Shawshank 2 is what posters would be pinned up in his cell wall. In the original movie, Andy – played by Tim Robbins – had the company of actresses Rita Hayworth, Marilyn Monroe and Raquel Welch for the 19 years he was banged up.

If our imaginary sequel is to be set in the Seventies, then the actresses would be stars such as Goldie Hawn, Faye Dunaway and Meryl Streep.

That trio spanned the decade and made their mark in movies like There’s A Girl In My Soup, Chinatown and Kramer v Kramer. But I’m not convinced they would have been first picks to take pride of place in bedroom walls back in the day.

The popular poster boys and girls from the Seventies seemed to be pop stars or TV actors. And with all due respect and deference to prog rockers, heavy-metal bangers and punk rockers, I’ve compiled a mainstream list of those artists who were most likely to be peering out at you from a teenager’s room in the 1970s.

As with any of these types of lists, it’s not an exact science. But it is based on some exhaustive research and investigation on the subject – okay, you’ve got me, it’s solely reliant on my hazy memories of who were the heartthrobs of the day. 

That said, I’m pretty confident the ones on my list would have been up there, literally, when it came to be top of the pin-ups back in the day.

There’s a handy biog and heartthrob rating out of 5 to go along with it.

Sadly, we can’t offer our cut-out-and-keep service these days unless you choose to print it out yourself.

David Cassidy

Shot to fame in the early 70s on TV’s Partridge Family in his role as Keith. Banged out a few No 1 songs in his day and was front cover material for every teen mag going.

5 HEART THROB RATING:

Donny Osmond

Along with Cassidy, seemed to corner the teen idol market in the early part of the decade. Try as he might, he was never able to shake off his goodie-two-shoes image. ️

John Travolta

Nailed his pin-up status with leading roles in movie blockbusters Saturday Night Fever and Grease. Fair to say, he was best known for his dancing rather than acting or singing.

Marc Bolan

Lead singer with T-Rex belted out some of the best tunes of the glam rock era. Makes the list because he was just as likely to be pinned up on a boy’s wall as a girl’s.

Les McKeown

Maybe not up there in terms of looks, but who am I to judge? He’s in there simply because he was the front man of the 70s phenomenon that was the Bay City Rollers. ️

Farah Fawcett

The smiley star of television series Charlie’s Angels became THE face of the Seventies without being able to act very well – or sing, for that matter. But that hair… ️

Debbie Harry

There was a fair bit of street cred if you had a Blondie poster on your wall in the late Seventies because of their banging tunes. Well, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. ️

Olivia Newton-John

Became an instant pin-up as a result of a duet with John Travolta at the tail end of the film Grease. Good as the song was, it’s fair to say her paint-on trousers stole the show. ️

Bo Derek

Another one-hit wonder. Her marketing team did a brilliant job of propelling her from an unknown actress in 10 alongside Dudley Moore to become a superstar. It’s the hair again… ️

Lynda Carter

As a former Miss World contestant, she was always going to be pin-up material. But she absolutely smashed it with her starring role in the Wonder Woman TV series. ️

Of course, there would have been footballers up on bedroom walls as well, but that’s a whole new chapter where I grew up.

Best to go down the international route which, in the 1970s, would have  given us superstars Pele, Johan Cruyff and Diego Maradona.

That trio wouldn’t have looked out of place on anyone’s wall. But would they be good enough to distract Andy Dufresne’s knuckle-scraping guards as he tries to escape in Shawshank 2?  I doubt it.

And if Goldie Hawn, Faye Dunaway or Meryl Streep didn’t work out, Andy could always put up a poster of Fiona Butler.

Who? Only the subject of one of the best-selling pieces of 1970s pop art, that’s who.

Think tennis, think sunny day, think long-legged blonde scratching her bahookie. See, now you’re distracted.