LONDON (AP) — Paul Hutchins, the former British Davis Cup captain who led the team to the final in 1978, has died. He was 73.
The Lawn Tennis Association and Hutchins’ family announced the death on Thursday. The family said in a statement to Britain’s Press Association that Hutchins, who had suffered from Lou Gehrig’s disease, died peacefully in his sleep on Wednesday.
Hutchins had a relatively modest career as a player but remained a key figure in British tennis for close to 50 years as a coach and administrator. He was honored by Queen Elizabeth with an MBE in 2017 for his services to the game.
LTA chief executive Scott Loyd hailed him as “a true hero of tennis in Britain,” and added that “his lasting legacy to tennis will endure for a long time to come.”
Hutchins was Britain’s longest-serving Davis Captain and remained in charge of the team for 13 years, including a loss to the United States in the 1978 final. He also served as Britain’s team leader for the 2012 London Olympics and founded the Rover Tennis initiative, a leading junior tennis program in the U.K.
Richard Lewis, the chief executive of the All England Club and a former Davis Cup player, said Hutchins “was a great leader, had extraordinary attention to detail, and always had the best of intentions when dealing with everyone in tennis.”
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