Sir Brian played in Wairarapa’s Christie Cup victory in 1982. PHOTO/WAIRARAPA ARCHIVE
One of Sir Brian Lochore’s proudest sporting memories came on the tennis court.
Sir Brian was an accomplished junior tennis player but gave the game away to concentrate on rugby.
His return to tennis after his retirement from rugby in 1971 led to one of his fondest sporting memories.
He was part of the 1982 Wairarapa senior tennis team who pulled off a stunning 18-6 upset over Manawatu to win the Christie Cup, symbol of supremacy among the sub-associations of the lower North Island.
It was the first time in 43 years Wairarapa had won this trophy.
Sir Brian, who won all three of his games, remembered it as a special moment for Wairarapa tennis.
“It was a lot like what happened with the rugby team actually as we had reached the stage as a unit where we were ready to do something special. If it didn’t happen then, it was never going to happen.”
One of his teammates and doubles partner, Masterton district councillor Frazer Mailman remembers Sir Brian as a very competitive player.
“He was very competent, had a very good service, couldn’t hit a top spin, but he was always competitive.”
Mailman said one their best achievements was beating a strong doubles combination in a Masters’ tournament.
“We beat Eric White, who was a Davis Cup rep and Paddy Kelly, who was number one in Manawatu for years, in the semifinals and we were both very proud of that.”
Once Sir Brian and Mailman gave up tennis, they became golfing buddies, playing together on Sundays for 30 years. Mailman said even then Sir Brian’s influence was evident.
“He was instrumental in bringing the pro-am to Masterton and Eketahuna, after he and the Masterton club professional Jamie McKay had played in an event in the South Island.”
“He was later charged with getting celebrity speakers each year and his team even won it one year.”