Wigan Grammar School


The Fives Court was the gift of Col. N. ff Eckersley, and there must be few of such excellence in the country.  It is roofed with glass and in addition is lighted with electricity.  The Court was formally opened on February 13, 1935 by the Mayor, after which exhibition games were played by the Headmaster and members of the Staff.

The enthusiasm and standard of play in this game was exceptionally great in the years before the war.  There were some very fine players, and House matches lasted a long time and roused the wildest excitement among the crowded spectators.  A beginning was made of playing School matches, and the School team was never beaten.  During the war period however this standard could not be maintained.  Not only was it impossible to use the lights in the Court on account of the black-out, but it became impossible for long periods to obtain gloves and balls.  It was thus only just possible to maintain House Matches and without practice the standard of play naturally deteriorated.
A shield for inter-house competition was given by Mr Justice Greaves-Lord on the occasion of his presenting the prizes in 1935.  Seniors and juniors have always competed in this event and as yet the knock-out principle does not operate here.

Manchester University 1952
School Fives players made a great name for themselves at Manchester University. In 1952 F.J. Unsworth, V. Latham, B.A. Whittle, P.Woodhall, J. Hampson and G. Wilkinson all played for some university team. F.J. Unsworth was awarded a full maroon in each of the four years 1950-53 and V. Latham in 1953. In 1952 these two players were in the team which beat Cambridge University first team and Denstone College, the Public School champions. In addition, Unsworth and Latham won the Scottish Open Doubles Championship in Edinburgh in 1953, and Unsworth was one of the pair which won the North of England Doubles Championship at Durham.


Summer 1966 Magazine:  “There has been no House Fives Competition this year, for the first time since the Fives Court was built.  The roof of the building was severely damaged by the autumnal storms and has been in a dangerous condition, but no repairs have been effected as yet”

The Fives Court was demolished in the 1990’s.