© AELTC/Michael Cole

Lesley Charles and Mark Farrell pose for photos on Centre Court ahead of the 1974 Wimbledon mixed doubles final.

Mark Farrell: 1953-2018

Liverpudlian was always great company

Mark Farrell, a Wimbledon mixed doubles runner-up in 1974 with fellow Briton Lesley Charles, has passed away aged 65 after a long illness.

Left-handed Farrell, who grew up in Liverpool and played at the Vagabonds Lawn Tennis Club, was always cheerful and terrific company. He compiled an 11-38 tour-level match record and achieved a career-high of No. 120 in the ATP Rankings on 20 December 1974. The same year, he played one Davis Cup tie for Great Britain versus Iran, partnering John Lloyd to victory in the doubles rubber.

Lloyd told ATPWorldTour.com, “I played a lot with Mark as a junior. He had a brute of a serve and was really a gentle giant. A big, tough Liverpudlian. He could also have been a very good footballer. He was so proud, too, to represent Great Britain against Iran at The Queen's Club.

“One of my fondest memories was when we were very young and touring Australia, sharing a guest house with a family from Melbourne. We were laying on small beds, listening to a big music box that I used to take around with me. What I didn’t know was that he was scared of spiders and as we were listening to music, I saw out of the corner of my eye a spider coming down on it’s web on Mark's side of the room. It landed on Mark's chest and he jumped up and screamed, and broke my music box! For the rest of the night, he didn’t want the lighted turned off!”

Farrell and Charles won five matches en route to the 1974 Wimbledon mixed doubles final, where they lost to the top seeds, Australia's Owen Davidson and Billie Jean King of the United States, 6-3, 9-7. He also partnered Lloyd to a 1974 WCT event doubles final at the Royal Albert Hall in London and later spent many years coaching in Switzerland.

Two other career highlights, included beating 16-year-old Bjorn Borg at the 1973 Sydney International and also Stan Smith in the 1975 Nottingham second round.

Farrell, who had been confined to a wheelchair in his final months, had recently been arranging a get together of former British players for 2019.

Mark Farrell, tennis player and coach, born 6 May 1953, died 26 November 2018.