A Pioneering NZ Professional
In 1976 he beat Englishman Barry O’Connor 10-8 in the fifth in the quarter-finals of the British Amateur championship. The 2h 35min match was the longest played to that time.
He and Brownlee turned professional and played exhibition series in New Zealand with Torsam Khan and Hiddy Jahan, and Gogi Alauddin and Mohibullah Khan. Within two years, Lilley was ranked in the top 10 in the world.
He didn’t play for much longer, opting to settle in North America as a coach. But his influence at a formative time for New Zealand professional squash was significant and helped inspire rising players like Ross Norman and Stuart Davenport.