On Sunday 24th March Horsenden Tennis Club Held a Cancer Charity Tournament to help raise funds for four very worthy causes.

The charity event was organised due to the fact that Mike Stenton a club member for twenty years, was diagnosed nineteen months ago with Stage 4 Non-small cell lung cancer despite the fact that he had never smoked in his life. About fifteen percent of lung cancer sufferers are from a non-smoking background and tend to be younger and fitter than the average lung cancer patients.

The day was a huge success helped by the weather and a great turnout with over forty players entering the tournament along with a number of spectators.

The tournament was opened by Mike who briefly ran through what had happened to him and outlined the importance of joining patient support groups to gain insight on the new treatments and best medical practice for the condition. He also mentioned how continuing to play tennis matches had helped to keep his body fit and mind positive even though this meant fighting breathlessness at various stages caused by the lung tumors.

His current targeted treatment over the past nine months has cleared his brain of metastatic tumours and also reduced the cancer in his lungs by around ninety nine percent and due to his recovery, he has now been told he can re-apply for his driving licence. He went on to explain that he wanted to help raise funds for some of the charities that had helped him during his journey with cancer. These were the:

  • Roy Castle Lung

  • ALK Positive UK,

  • Macmillan’s

  • and Cancer Research UK

Debra Montague and her father Graham Lavender also came along to support the day. They have recently set up the ALK Positive UK support group and Charity to help patients with this rare kind of lung cancer mutation that makes up about 4% of the overall lung cancer’s diagnosed. Debra thanked everyone for their support and spoke about the aims of the group to improve treatment by working alongside the medical world.

Carl Murray, committee member and the club’s tournament organiser began the tournament which was attended by 40 players and was run with each match played as a championship tie break. Each player playing around 4 matches with the average for each player being used to determine the winner. He also outlined the challenge events that would take place in the middle of the tournament to raise further funds for the deserving charities.

The challenges ran for just over an hour with the most popular being ‘Step up and Beat the Coach’ (Dan Palmer) in a 5-point match Tie break. Twenty players attempted to do this with only three succeeding, Stephen Biggs (Princes Risborough), Tom Messenger (Horsenden) and Nathan Glynn (Aston Park). Stephen won by an impressive 3-0 to win the event with the others by 3-2. Some tried a couple of times. It was great exercise for our coach :-)

The Fastest serve competition was won by Richard Hollyer (Horsenden) in the 50 and over class hitting 96 mph and Chris Palmer (Horsenden) winning the under 50 class with a best of 88 mph.

The longest rally competition was won by Peter Messenger and Mary Knight (both Horsenden)

There were two volleying competitions. The Advanced was won by Salim Jadavji and Stephen Biggs (both Princes Risborough) with a rally of 17 volleys hit with both players remaining behind the service line.

The intermediate competition was won by Tony Shadbolt and Camilla Croxton (both Horsenden) with a rally of 42 volleys.

The bucket competition (players try to hit balls into buckets at different distances was won by L.J. Yarroll with a score of 17 points.

At around 3:45 pm in the afternoon the tournament competition continued and finished just after 5:00 pm. Matters then concluded with a BBQ on the lawn and a few well-earned drinks, with the winners being announced of the main tournament event

1st place went to Jonathan Epps (Horsenden) who was awarded the inaugural trophy

2nd went to John Palmer (Horsenden)

3rd went to Kieran Daly (Horsenden)


Mike thanked everyone for their generosity and support. The event has raised £1400 to be divided and given to the respective charities.  The Justgiving page is open for donations until June 2019.  The link is:


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