Spencer William Gore (1850 - 1906) MP

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Death: Died
Managed by: June Barnes (Buchanan)
Last Updated:

About Spencer William Gore

Spencer Gore - Born: 10/3/1850 Died: 19/4/1906

Spencer Gore was the first winner of a Grand Slam title at Wimbledon in 1877. Gore, an old Harrovian, was born and bred in Wimbledon and was a good all round sportsman. He played the game of rackets, real tennis and played cricket to a good standard as well.

Gore made his first class cricket debut for Surrey against Middlesex in 1874 hitting 17 runs off the first four balls he received in his first match. He played again for Surrey against Middlesex in 1875 when Surrey won by 10 wickets and he did not have a chance to play a second innings. He played cricket mainly for I Zingari at club level, playing his last match for them in 1893. He played two first class matches for I Zingari whch were against Yorkshire in 1878 and 1879 and one match for Gentlemen of the South in 1879.

Tennis was always inferior to cricket in Gore's mind. He is famous for saying

"That anyone who has really played well at cricket, tennis, or even rackets, will ever seriously give his attention to lawn tennis, beyond showing himself to be a promising player, is extremely doubtful; for in all probability the monotony of the game would choke him off before he had time to excel in it."

In 1877 the first Wimbledon lawn tennis championship was held at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club which had been renamed from the All England Croquet Club since tennis had been establlished there two years earlier. At the inaugural Wimbledon championships in 1877 Gore came through a field of 22 entrants and won the Gentleman's Singles title beating William Marshall (6-1, 6-2, 6-4) on 19 July 1877, to become the first ever Wimbledon champion. He dropped only two sets in four rounds. Aged 27 Gore reached the final after beating CG Heathcote in the semifinal. He collected the first prize of 12 guineas and a silver cup presented by The Field, a sporting magazine.

Gore was among the twenty-two men who paid a guinea to enter the inaugural 1877 championship (women did not have a competition until 1884). The 21 matches were spread over five days. The championship was suspended for the weekend so as not to clash with the annual Eton v Harrow cricket match at Lord's Cricket Ground. The scheduled final on Monday was postponed for four days because of rain.

The following yearGore lost in the final to Frank Hadow 7–5, 6–1, 9–7. Hadow used the lob successfully, beating Gore at the net and Gore surrendered his title in straight sets. That was the last time Gore played tournament tennis.

Gore joined Pickering and Smith, the property advisory firm of his father-in-law Edmund James Smith who became President of the Surveyors' Institute. Gore was promoted to partnership and the firm was renamed Smiths and Gore

He died in 1906 at the age of 56.

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Spencer William Gore's Timeline

1850
March 10, 1850
1875
November 30, 1875
Age 25
1878
May 26, 1878
Age 28
Surrey, England
1906
April 19, 1906
Age 56
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