Posted by: James Rhodes | July 8, 2011

Wimbledon Final

Here’s another post from me! I’m not too late on this one though! Last Sunday (4th July) I went to SW19 for the Wimbledon Tennis final between Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Wimbledon’s always hit and miss, could be fantastic, could be a waste of a day. This is my third Wimbledon final, the only time I pay for the chance of autographs (£8 ground ticket).

Arrived at 9.30, and after 90 mins queuing, got into the grounds. Within 2 minutes, spotted 2 time Wimbledon winner Maria Bueno, who kindly signed an index card for me. Maria won the Singles in 1959, 1960 and 1961, as well as winning the Doubles 5 times.

Soon after spotted British actor, Alan Rickman. Alan, star of films including Harry Potter (as Snape), Die Hard (as Hans Gruber), Michael Collins (as Eamon de Valera) and Sweeney Todd (as Judge Turpin), kindly signed my autograph book, but politely refused a photo with. Was really happy to meet Alan, especially considering he has a reputation for not being a good signer.

Next was 1966 Wimbledon Champion, Manuel Sanata. Manuel kindly signed an index card for me and posed for a photo. A new one for me, so I was happy!

Manuel  was followed by 1961 Champion Angela Mortimer, who kindly signed an index card for me (since gone to a friend as I have met Angela many times), and posed for a photo with me.

Next was one of my favourite successes of the day, Formula 1 driver Jenson Button. I’ve always wanted to meet Jenson (as a F1 fan), so was happy to see him! He signed my autograph book and an index card (gone to a friend), and posed for a photo.

Spotted Sir Cliff Richard next, who quickly signed my autograph book. A Wimbledon regular, have got a photo with him before (2010), so not fussed that he didn’t hang about!

Next saw Stoke City manager Tony Pulis, who was really friendly; he signed my autograph book and posed for a photo with me.

Also met former tennis player Annabel Croft and 1969 Wimbledon Champion Ann Jones who signed index cards for me, and saw former champions Boris Becker, Pat Cash and Bjorn Borg, who both refused to sign.

About 30 minutes before the start of the match moved to another area of the grounds, whilst walking there we spotted ex England and Arsenal footballer Sol Campbell, who signed my autograph book and posed for a photo.

At the second location, first spot was golfer, and current world number 1, Rory McIlroy, who signed an index card for me, but didn’t stop for a photo. Soon after he was followed by American comedian/actor Jeff Garlin (Curb Your Enthusiasm, Wall E, Toy Story 3), who signed an index card and posed for a photo.

Next was a real legend; record producer George Martin. George is considered to be the greatest producer of all time, having produced all but one of The Beatles‘ albums. He is regarded to be the 5th Beatle. He’s a tough autograph to get, but kindly signed my autograph book, but didn’t stop for a photo (mainly due to his wife hurrying him!)

George was followed by Duran Duran member John Taylor, who signed my autograph book and posed for a photo. I only need Roger Taylor now to have a full Duran set, having previously met Simon (LeBon) and Nick (Rhodes).

He was followed by former athlete Roger Black, who signed my autograph book. Have always wanted to meet Roger, he’s one of a few athletes I had never previously met. Next was one of the sort of people why I go to Wimbledon; actor and comedian Mike Myers! Wimbledon never fails to attract an A Lister (previously I have seen/met Ben Stiller, Woody Allen, Russell Crowe, Liz Hurley, Kim Cattrall and Emma Watson), and Mike adds to that list! He kindly signed my autograph book and an index card (gone to a friend), and posed for a photo! So happy to meet Austin Powers and Shrek!

Also met Wimbledon referee of 23 years Alan Mills (photo can be seen here), Mollie King from the Saturdays and broadcaster Sir David Frost (photo can be seen here).

Once the match had started, was walking around waiting for the end of the first set and spotted singer Grace Jones walking to the court. She was running late, but still signed my autograph book. Also saw England rugby player and World Cup winner Will Greenwood, who signed my autograph book and posed for a photo, which can be seen here. Always wanted to meet Will!

Also saw T4 presenter Rik Edwards filming a piece, so got him to sign an index card and pose for a photo, which can be seen here.

Really happy with how it went, had a great time in general, and met some awesome people. Can’t wait for 2012 (unless Andy Murray gets through, in which case I won’t be able to get into the grounds!).

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