May 2, 2004 by

John Parsons


Categories: Media, Sports, Writers/Editors

John Anthony Parsons, a British tennis writer who covered 44 Wimbledon tournaments, died on April 27 of kidney failure. He was 66.
Parsons was born into a family that was passionate about tennis. His father, a former president of the Lawn Tennis Association in Oxford, encouraged John to pick up a racket and try out for the school tennis team. As a teenager, Parsons became a cub reporter for the Oxford Mail. He spent 17 years covering sports for the Daily Mail in London then joined The Daily Telegraph in 1981 as its tennis correspondent.
During his 23 years reporting for The Daily Telegraph, Parsons was a fixture at tennis tournaments around the world. He tended to shy away from criticizing players, a practice that earned the respect of athletes like Andre Agassi, Boris Becker, Chris Evert, Steffi Graf, Tim Henman and Martina Navratilova.
Parsons wrote “The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Tennis — The Definitive Guide to World Tennis,” and published “The Official Wimbledon Annual” every year for two decades. He received the Ron Bookman Media Excellence trophy twice, and was the WTA Tour’s media person of the year in 1990.
Born with only one functioning kidney, Parsons received a kidney transplant in 1982. He was covering the Nasdaq-100 Open in Key Biscayne, Fla., last month when he was hospitalized for kidney failure.

3 Responses to John Parsons

  1. Dena Nelson-Smith

    I shall really miss that happy face and those knowledgeable comments at every tournament I go to. How refreshing it was talking to John about Tennis, he always had his finger on the pulse and was never in any rush to put anyone down.

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