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Court at Wick club is named in honour of Wick squash veteran Pradip Datta


By Alan Hendry

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Pradip Datta with some of the competitors from his era – (from left) Robin Aitken, James Henderson, Graeme Mackenzie, Andrew Robertson, Willie Jappy, Jane Cormack, Phineas Miller, John Brunton, Janette Mackenzie, Barry Reid and Roy Mackenzie. Picture: Robert MacDonald / Northern Studios
Pradip Datta with some of the competitors from his era – (from left) Robin Aitken, James Henderson, Graeme Mackenzie, Andrew Robertson, Willie Jappy, Jane Cormack, Phineas Miller, John Brunton, Janette Mackenzie, Barry Reid and Roy Mackenzie. Picture: Robert MacDonald / Northern Studios

Wick squash stalwart Pradip Datta admitted he was "lost for words" after court one at the local club was named in his honour.

The retired consultant surgeon is the club's only lifetime member.

The gesture is in recognition of his many years of service and contribution to the club.

Pradip has in recent times suffered two strokes and is leaving the town to move to a care home in Perth where he will be closer to his son.

He is a past chairman and was club champion from 1981 to 1985 and again in 1987 and 1988, as well as being handicap champion in 1982, 1985 and 1993 and veteran champion in 1989, 1996, 1997 and 1998.

Pradip also won the county championship each year from 1981 to 1985 and again in 1987, and was county veteran champion in 1986, then from 1988 to 1993, and again in 1998.

He also won Thurso Squash Club's veteran championship from 1988 to 1993 and the super-veteran title in 1996.

Pradip Datta presents Roy Mackenzie with the Mackenzie Rose Bowl, an engraved glass trophy marking their many years of friendly rivalry in various competitions at Wick Squash Club. Roy has handed the trophy over to the club where it will be competed for annually as a league trophy. Picture: Robert Macdonald / Northern Studios
Pradip Datta presents Roy Mackenzie with the Mackenzie Rose Bowl, an engraved glass trophy marking their many years of friendly rivalry in various competitions at Wick Squash Club. Roy has handed the trophy over to the club where it will be competed for annually as a league trophy. Picture: Robert Macdonald / Northern Studios

Accepting the honour, Pradip said: "You have made me so emotional I'm lost for words – thank you so much. I have played squash at the most southerly, easterly, westerly and northerly courts in Great Britain, but nothing compares to Caithness."

During his run of club championships in the 1980s his opponent in the final was always Roy Mackenzie and in 1986 Roy did succeed in winning the title. In recognition of the friendly competition between the pair, Pradip presented the Mackenzie family with an engraved glass trophy, called the Mackenzie Rose Bowl.

In turn Roy handed it over to the club and it will be competed for annually as a league trophy.

The presentations took place during a short, socially distanced get-together at the club.

  • Pradip Datta's book The Naked Mountain Lands is still on sale in Meiklejohn's shop and from Hearing and Sight Care Caithness and North Sutherland. So far £4500 has been handed over to his chosen charities, with more to come.

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