Older even than the All England Lawn Tennis Club at Wimbledon, Mersey Bowmen is the second oldest tennis club in the world. Founded as an archery club in 1781, the Bowmen occupied sites around Liverpool, including Cazneau Street and Lodge Lane, before moving to the newly-created Sefton Park in 1872.
The arrows on our badge date from the club’s archer past – although we no longer practise archery in the park – and our motto, celeri certare sagitta (to contend with a swift arrow), also dates from this time. Unsurprisingly.
Some of Liverpool’s finest players have played their tennis at Mersey Bowmen over the years. A memorial in the clubhouse recognises members who fought in both world wars, while the club has played a prominent part in the city’s tennis community since its inception.
Its fortunes have ebbed and flowed over the years, with changing lifestyles and more and more leisure pursuits competing for peoples’ time. A grant of £47,070 in December 2011 from Sports England’s Inspired Facilities fund allowed for the refurbishment of our six hard courts, and a further £49,900 – awarded in January 2013 – has provided for the complete refurbishment of the clubhouse, meaning the club’s fortunes are firmly on the up again. The rest, as they say, is history…