JOURNALIST and author Hugh Lunn has had a strong connection to the world of Australian tennis from an early age, and amassed many a tale of his old friend and tennis legend Ken Fletcher.
Mr Lunn was in town on Saturday for the Mayor's fundraising luncheon - in partnerships with the Blackbutt and District Tourism and Heritage Association - to help kickstart a project that plans to erect a statue of former Nukku boy and Wimbledon champion Roy Emerson in the town.
Lunn, who was a childhood friend of Fletcher's, spoke fondly of his old friend's cheeky demeanour and ties to tennis great Roy Emerson - a former doubles partner.
"One of the things about Fletch was that he didn't just play tennis," Mr Lunn said. "On court he was the first person, they said, to give his heart to the crowd, where he talked to people in the crowd - he always had time for everyone."
The two grew up together in Brisbane and remained close friends up until Fletcher's death in 2006, but Lunn believed not enough Australians truly knew who Fletch was.
Lunn pieced together Fletcher's life from the many letters, news reports and memories he collected over the years, culminating in one remarkable book: The Great Fletch.
The book was published in 2008 and chronicles the dazzling life of the Wimbledon larrikin.
As a young player, a ban was imposed on Fletcher from ever playing again in the Australian Davis Cup team after he and four other rebelled against the Lawn Tennis Association of Australia, ignoring a ruling in 1963 not to play in certain overseas tournaments.
"He was such a fascinating character and was famous around the world, yet he wasn't known here because he stayed over there," Mr Lunn said.
"My theory from life is that everyone remains exactly the damn same and Fletch gave full expression to everything he felt and thought."
The Great Fletch was up for auction at the Mayor's fundraising luncheon. The BDTHA would like to thank Stanwell Corporation for its generous contribution.
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