Hedley calls time on Hallam Sports Shop
Hedley Matthew has had a huge involvement with the Hallamshire for almost four decades. He developed a passion for squash after he retired as a semi-professional footballer in his mid thirties. He started playing squash at Stocksbridge Sports Centre then was a member of both Queen’s Tower and Birley, before joining Hallamshire in in the early 80s. It wasn’t long before he was invited to join the Squash Committee at the club and was later elected as Chairman of the Squash Committee, thus gaining membership as a Board Director. During this time he ran the Squash Summer League for many years and arranged various exhibition evenings featuring among others, Jonah Barrington. Following a change in the management, Hedley, having recently retired from Head of Physical Education at High Storrs School, agreed to become “Caretaker Manager” for the club, a “temporary” position that lasted over five and a half years with him often working up to eighty hours per week!
Hedley’s passion and dedication to the game led to him starting a National League Squash Team at Hallamshire with the areas behind courts 5 and 6 crowded out with spectators keen to watch high quality squash.
Hedley’s “hands on” approach as Club Manager led him to organise massive functions in order to help improve the club’s finance including in 1999 The World Masters Squash Championships and in 2000 The Women’s World Team Championships. The latter involved the construction of a glass squash court on the indoor tennis courts, which turned out to be quite a challenge!
Hedley stepped down as manager in 2002 and took over the running of the club shop, Hallam Sports, which was later moved to a larger and more visible location at the front of the club. He was later re-elected to The Board and served a brief spell as club Chairman.
The club members have been extremely well looked after over the years with sports clothing, shoes, equipment and of course, an extremely popular racket stringing service. Members will really miss the personal touch and advice that has been offered over the years.
Hedley’s aim is to retire from the shop over the course of this Summer. He hopes to spend a lot more time playing squash and racketball and of course enjoying more fun time with his granddaughter, Charlotte.
Hedley would very much like to see the shop continue to offer a personal service to all the members and has asked the Board to initially explore the possible option of a club member taking over the business.
If anyone has an interest in taking over Hallam Sports, please have a chat with Hedley and then submit a formal proposal to the Board by Monday 1st June via email email@example.com or by letter via reception marked for the attention Kate Guest and Annette Illidge.