Seven of New Zealand’s greatest squash identities were inducted into the New Zealand Squash Hall of Fame in Christchurch at an Awards dinner held at the Christchurch casino last night, with 145 squash fans in attendance. MC for the evening was Joseph Romanos and included amongst the audience were some delegates from the World Squash Federation AGM meeting also being hosted in the city, including World CEO Andrew Shelley and Secretary General George Meries who presented some of the induction awards. The seven Inductees were:
Jade Wilson (posthumous). In Sydney in 1995 she became the only New Zealander to win a world junior title. To do so, she beat two future world No 1s on the way. Represented New Zealand from 1994-96. Her highest world ranking in her short senior career was No 18.
Rob Crothall. The first specialist physical trainer to be closely associated with New Zealand senior teams. He advised nearly every leading New Zealand player – male and female - from the mid-1970s until the mid-1990s.
Jenny Webster. Won three New Zealand senior titles, one New Zealand Open crown and 17 national masters titles. In addition she won four world masters titles from 1983-2001. She represented New Zealand from 1969-2001. Was only ever an A grader, from 1968 until 2003, when she was in her 60s.
Robyn Brownlee. One of the pioneers of New Zealand women’s squash on the world circuit, she won one national title and one New Zealand Open. She represented New Zealand from 1979-85 and at her peak was ranked No 3 in the world.
Joanne Williams. Runner-up in the New Zealand championships six times (to Susan Devoy on each occasion). Represented New Zealand from 1980-90. At her peak was ranked No 6 in the world.
Trevor Johnston. Won three New Zealand titles and was a national representative from 1964-74. In 1969, he was seeded eighth at the world amateur championships, the highest ranking achieved by a New Zealander to that point.
Bill Murphy. Forward-thinking New Zealand Squash chief executive from 1979-86 and 1990-94. Has filled a variety of administrative roles within squash since. His time running the national association coincided with the boom years of squash in New Zealand.
The inclusion of these seven takes the number in the New Zealand Squash Hall of Fame to 27. With Squash New Zealand celebrating 75 years in 2014, it is planned that some sort of Dinner or Jubilee Evening will be run under the Hall of Fame banner. Details, venue and dates to be announced soon.