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NEWS from Framboise ...

The Willstrops at Wimbledon
As a general rule, I don’t like exhibition matches.
But I must say, the Willstrops know how to entertain.

On a very warm Saturday evening, Mr Willstrop Senior, Mr Willstrop Junior, and Nick Taylor (who Malcolm introduced as “from Lancashire”, stressing the huge gap between Yorkshire and the rest of the world…) came to Wimbledon Racquets and Fitness Club to entertain a select crowd who had the good taste to prefer the hot atmosphere of a squash club to the delights of a warm summer evening outside a café in Wimbledon Village.

Let me tell you, we were in for a treat!   Full story

Congratulations to the Whites

Now, girls, I've got all the details, as Big John rang to tell us a bit more. Well, Max was the first born, at 5lb 12oz, and Sam came a bit later, at 5lb 6oz.

The delivery wasn't that easy, and Suzy "has been hit by a bus", confessed John. "It was touch and go for two to three hours. She is still very weak, but she is now OK. She is going to stay in hospital for another 4 to 5 days."

"The babies are being fed normally, and are doing fantastically well, considering what they've just been through."

I have got the strange feeling that squash may not be on John's priority list for a few weeks, but then again, you DO KNOW my talent for prediction, don't you...

The story as it broke ...


A busy Summer for Lincou
Thierry Lincou is receiving some serious media attention in France, and faces a hectic summer schedule.

Although he relinquished the world number one spot, winning his first major trophy at the Super Series Finals underlined his position as one of France's top, and most popular, sports personalities.

The French Press coverage of the European Team Championships was massive, with Lincou featuring in a major article in Le Monde, and in several television interviews.

Yesterday Lincou was at Roland Garros to present the "Orange Award", prizes given to the tennis players who demonstrate the best attitude and behaviour towards the public and press. In France this is considered a real honour.

Then, in a few days time the French minister of sport will be presenting Lincou with an award to honour his performance over the year, with the President of the Senate also in attendance.

In addition to this his hectic summer schedule also includes an appearance in the Dutch League play-off final this weekend followed by exams in Marseilles (part of his University finals), then an intensive period of training in Corsica.

After all that he'll holiday for a month at his house in Reunion - a well-deserved break indeed!

@ Roland Garros


Notre Thierry National est en train de gagner ses galons « média » et d’être enfin reconnu comme le grand sportif qu’il est ! Je viens d’apprendre qu’hier, il était à Roland Garros pour remettre le prix « Orange », vous savez, ces prix qui récompensent les joueurs et joueuses de tennis pour leur comportement à l’égard du public et de la Presse.

Puis il recevra dans les jours qui viennent une médaille des mains du Ministre des Sports pour ses performances de l’année, en présence du Président du Sénat.

Notre Titi médaillé !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mais croyez-moi, cela ne lui monte pas à la tête. Hop, ce week-end, il part jouer en Hollande, ensuite, direction Marseille pour passer quelques partiels, puis un stage intensif de squash en Corse, et enfin, un petit mois de vacances à la maison, sous les tropiques…

Un été bien rempli pour le numéro 1 français….


On the final day, France caused a bit of a problem to the ESF organisation by suggesting (strongly) that, like in all other sporting events happening on French soil, the marker should announce the scores in both languages.

Michèle Lecomte (on the left in the bottom photo), responsible for the "outrageous demand" said to me:

"I don't think that it's an inadequate or out of order request. In France, we are proud of our language, and not everybody in the audience speaks English.

"If we want to develop Squash in France, it's time to democratise the Sport, starting by the marking!"

So, for the first time in ESF history, markers announced score in French and in English.

And you know what, it worked fine!


Set Squash Marseille (situated in the South of France for those of you who are not familiar with French geography) is organising a 48 draw tournament (38 best ranked + 10 wild cards) for the Men, and a 32 draw tournament for women on the 14, 15 & 16th May 2004 Full Details


The 'Gallery' in issue 2004-02 of the Squash Player Magazine is by none other than ...

Actually, if you read the reports on the site, you didn't miss much, but it's still nice to see in down on paper.

Plus, there's more of Framboise's work in the issues coming up ...

On my way back from the BSPA Ilkley Open, I popped in to Pontefract to have a little look around. Well, I did tell you that I was preparing an interview on Malcolm Willstrop (only an excuse to see James really, but I’m running out of ideas now, please send your suggestions to Steve, thank you) so I really wanted to see the Man in action.

And I was not disappointed. And I’m sure you won’t be either when you read the article. But it won’t be just now, this one will take a bit of time…

Anyway, two reasons for this little note.

First of all, James Willstrop had a hair cut.


The only problem is that I didn’t think about taking a picture of him. Well, I was so gobsmacked that my journalist reflexes went out the window [you're sacked, Ed].

Girls, hold on to your racquets, he is even cuter, if that’s possible.

On a more serious note, like James who lost his mum to cancer when he was only 17, I lost my dad to the same lethal, unfair, and life breaker disease when I was about the same age. So, when I heard today that Pontefract Squash Club was organising a Cancer Charities Squash Night on the Saturday 8th May 2004, I thought it was important that you would hear about it.

It should be a good night, squash first, with up and coming unknown players like Peter Nicol, John White, Lee Beachill and James Willstrop.

The musical ambiance will be directed by Sylvan Richardson (ex Simply Red).

As usual, all proceeds will go to Cancer Charities, and the tickets are £10.00.

There are a limited number of tickets, so hurry and phone
01977 79 3333.

So, make a little time in your schedule to come and enjoy a beautiful night of squash and entertainment. I know that I’m actually cancelling a trip to Paris to go, so, I hope to see you there…


Will James be as popular, shorn of his locks ???

Sat 8th May
tel: 01977 79 3333
for tickets

The Pontefract bar






“And you can quote me on that one!”, said Peter Nicol (who I nickname "the Boss!") after the final of the Canary Wharf Classic while talking to Ian McKenzie and myself.

“I think the decision was hasty, that it should have been tried first. We [the players] were not consulted, and I think it’s a mistake. Why couldn't they wait for this tournament, to see how PAR to 9 would stand in a big event?”

He added; “The best of seven games final here was just a test, and didn’t really add anything to the game. It was only designed to give spectators value for money, but because we gave them an exhibition game, the final would have been OK as best of five.”

When I mentioned that we were the ONLY SPORT where the score changes for every event, time of the month, or weather conditions, the Boss concluded:

“We should only have scoring up to 9. The professionals would play in a PAR system with deuce/advantage, and the non pro would play 'Standard' scoring. Therefore, the score would always appear to be the same”.

Sorry, PSA, but this is the first time in a looooooooong time that I've heard a sensible solution.

Now we know why the Boss is up there…

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