Confessions of an Ageing Tennis Player

by Nick Owen in Nottingham, England, United Kingdom

Total raised £1,122

raised so far



The must-go-to guide book for all of us who have never quite managed to succeed on the tennis court: or indeed anywhere else in life.

by Nick Owen in Nottingham, England, United Kingdom

We're still collecting donations

On the 11th July 2020 we'd raised £1,102 with 42 supporters in 153 days. But as every pound matters, we're continuing to collect donations from supporters.

1580160259_(1)one_tennis_(22)_second_service_revisited_2102019.jpg“I don’t like your attitude!” snaps “Serena Williams” as we square up over the club’s dubious grass courts. But I am “Andy Murray”, the greatest tennis GOAT ever, no really I am and you “Serena” are blocking me from my ultimate goal: chairman of our local club.

The Story  Remember when you were young and you emulated your sporting heroes in the streets or school playground? Remember the days when you were going to win the 100m sprint? The World Cup?  Wimbledon?     'Confessions of an Ageing Tennis Player is a short story about our dreams and our disappointments , our failures and our triumphs.  

1581808734_(11)eleventennis_(80)_tennis_5revisited_paxo_besuited_18102019_.jpgIt's about a man of a certain age who lived those fantasies when he was young and never quite moved on as he grew up.  It's a story of how he becomes sporting zero to hero and back again set against the backdrop of Wimbledon in 2013 when Andy Murray was the first British player to win there in decades.  

Unsurprisingly, Andy makes surprise appearances throughout the book.

 1580160332_(2)two_tennis_(67)_tennis_20a_lob_revisited_the_ball_flies_off_the_handle_15102019.jpgI've shown the manuscript to various friends and family members who all say they enjoy it and have encouraged me to get it out to a wider audience. A few years ago I self-published it on Amazon and it got some lovely reviews which said things like: A rollicking good read that had me laughing out loud. It had me entertaining the idea of joining our local tennis club, and I'm rubbish at tennis.  

1581808789_(3)three_tennis_(75)_tennis_28_revisited_doubles_17102019.jpgAnd... This is a riotous, rolling, rollicking read in the picaresque tradition. Eat your hearts out Henry Fielding and Herman Melville. As the hero hurtles through his ruthless pursuit of fame and glory, you too will probably receive an upgrade as you are laughing so much in your plane or train seat. Witty ( and wise) this is a cracking read. First in a series.  and  

1581808819_(5)five_tennis_(59ab)_attitude_alternative_version_colour_16102019.jpgI am at the ageing tennis player and this book hits the nail on the head with an incite and humour that made me laugh out loud. Great observation, no holds barred honesty through the arena of tennis that explores between our imagination and the actuality.

1581808664_(1a)oneatennis_(79)_no_deference_assembly_landscape_view_18102019.jpgBut it didn’t reach as wide an audience as I hoped for.  It was also very text-heavy: and I learned very quickly that I needed to work with an illustrator who not only understood the story, but could heighten it, enlighten it and delight the reader with his or her vision.

"You may be well versed in village pump politics, bruised egos & sporty tantrums “Serena Williams” but you will be shocked to see that I, “Andy Murray” the GOAT, has become Sports Personality of The Year! The time for ME to lead our Club, “Serena” is nigh!"


1581808862_(7)seven_tennis_(69a)_line_judge_hallowed_turf_15102019.jpgI’ve been very fortunate to find that illustrator.   He’s called Paul Warren, is from Derby in the East Midlands in the UK and has interpreted the essence of the book in a collection of illustrations which lift the text in ways I hadn’t thought possible.

1581808895_(12)twelve_tennis_(47ab)_revised_lead_figure_11102019.jpgMy colleague and illustrator: Paul has always, as far back as he can remember, sketched and drawn and painted images.  He attended the Joseph Wright Secondary Art School in Derby but didn't follow that with art college and an arts based career. He drifted through a range of full time jobs including the army, the building trade, milk delivery, postal delivery and counter work and architectural office assistance to name but several.

1581808974_(13a)thirteenatennis_(81_as_drawn_awitingthe_golden_key_19102019.jpgIn 2013, after renting studio space at Harrington Mill Studios in Long Eaton, he began drawing on an iPad and he has drawn on an iPad ever since.  A phrase he has coined is “the iPad is my sketch pad” and it fits very well. His drawing style is continually evolving and developing.  He draws people, the human figure and add a sprinkling of artistic license.  He doesn't strictly create pictures; he's interested in facial expression, stance, form, interaction between members of society, a moment in the workaday activities.

Spending a great deal of time drawing, daily, weekly, he produces many digital images, some of which go on to be printed, mounted, framed and, from time to time, exhibited.

Paul’s work can be viewed here.  He can also be contacted here.

1580160544_(9)nine_tennis_(74)_mens_singles_trophy_16102019.jpgWhy this campaign?  I want to make people laugh.  Early editions of the book have shown me that the story does just that: but now, I want to spread the laughter further, wider and deeper and bring some humour to our lives. So I want this Crowd Funder campaign  to generate £4,000 which will enable me to edit, produce, publish and market the book properly in both hard copy and e-book versions.

"Arson at Wimbledon! Balding naked Caucasian man “Lord Andrew Murray of Kirkintilloch” arrested on Centre Court - claims he knows nothing but can’t explain flaming oxy-acetylene torches. Man’s identity is a mystery, now helping police with their enquiries (Reuters)"

Who's been helping so far?

1581808580_tennis_cat_spoty_sat_21102019.jpgI've been lucky to enlist the help of several aspiring tennis players, all of whom were distracted away from the tennis court long enough to forge their careers in other unrelated directions including Alby James, Anand  Torrents, Candace Lott, David Llewellyn, David Robertson, Jackie P. Gardner, Janice Owen, Jason Biggs, Jessie Antonellis-John, Kevin Coyne, Martin Milner, Rez Kabir,  Robert Coyne and Tayo Aluko. There are more vocal surprises in store! I thank you all for your lending your support and voices to this campaign.  

Thanks to Billie Deen Owen too for making the Campaign Trailers who has shown Herculean patience with the rewrites, retakes and resourcing the sound effects.

What happens next?

1581808613_front_cover_first_choice_(a)_illustraions_by_added.jpgIf this campaign is successful, I will launch the book in an internationally respected tennis centre in the UK and will distribute it through various on-line providers and retailers in the Spring of 2020.  If you are able to support the campaign, you'll be invited to the launch and be part of a very special group of friends.



This project offered rewards

£5 or more

£5 Reward: join the Tennis Tots Club!

It's a cruel fact of life these days that if you want to get on in the tennis world, you have to start young - very, very young. So, now you can give your youngest loved ones the best start possible: joining the Tennis Tots Club! For just £5, your fledgling tennis star can be named as future tennis star in the Tennis Tots Club section of the book and they'll thank you for ever and ever.

£10 or more

£10 Reward

Thank you for helping us make this project happen. Your support means you will be thanked in the book personally within the ‘Club Appreciators Group’ or CAGers for short.

£18 or more

£18 Reward

Congratulations! You've won your Grand Slam final , 6-0, 6-0 6-0 and in return for your donation, will be sent a specially designed "Confessions" certificate naming the opponent you beat, and the tournament you beat them in. Wimbledon, French, Australian or the US? Any Grand Slam tournament you like! You'll also receive a signed copy of the book and an invitation to the official launch.

£44 or more

£44 Reward

Congratulations! You've won your Grand Slam final , 6-7 6-7, 6-0, 6-0 6-0 (it was that close!) and in return for your donation, will be sent a specially designed Confessions certificate naming the opponent you beat, and as above, the tournament you beat them in. You'll also receive 2 signed copies of the book and 2 invitations to the official launch.

£70 or more

£70 Reward

Congratulations! You've won your Grand Slam final , 6-7 6-7, 7-6, 7-6 10-8 (what a match!) and in return for your donation, will be sent a specially designed Confessions certificate naming the opponent you beat, and as above, the tournament you beat them in. You'll also receive 3 signed copies of the book and 3 invitations to the official launch.

£200 or more

£200 Reward: in memory of a much loved player

If you pledge £200, you'll be invited to add a written tribute in the front of the book to a loved one of yours who may not now be able to attend the launch of the book. You'll receive 4 personally signed hard copies of the book, 4 free T-shirts with images from the Paul Warren Illustration collection and 4 invitations to the official launch. An ideal tribute perhaps from your local tennis club?

£300 or more

£300 Reward

If you donate £300, Paul Warren will design an image based on you, and that image will be included in the book as part of the 'Locker Room Team'. You'll also receive 4 copies of the book, 4 tee-shirts with your very own image on the front of it and 4 invitations to the official launch of the book.

£500 or more

£500 Reward

If you donate £500 or more, I will name the Launch Party after you, your organisation or that of a loved one. There will be free attendance for you and 7 guests at the Publication Launch party and you'll receive 8 personally signed copies of the book and 8 free T-shirts with images from the Paul Warren Illustration collection. Your support will be recognised in the 'Club Committee' section of the book.

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