helpline 01494 601 400
27 June 2016

Seven times Wimbledon champion who died of epileptic seizure

William Renshaw may not be a name that rolls off the tongue. He died of an epileptic seizure in 1904 at the age of 43. But in sporting history, he is up there alongside Wimbledon greats, Roger Federer and Pete Sampras.

Willie Renshaw, left, was one of the most successful male tennis players at Wimbledon. Like Federer and Sampras, he won seven Wimbledon Gentleman Singles Men's titles , six of them, from 1881-1886, were consecutive wins, a record which hasn't been broken since. Bjorn Borg and Federer each won five consecutive titles.

Twin brother

Even more remarkably, in 1882, 1883 and 1889, Willie played his twin brother Ernest, right,  in the Wimbledon finals, beating him each time.

At a time when British players dominated Wimbledon, Willie and Ernest did much to popularise the game and were famously known as the 'Renshaw Rush.'

12-times champion

The brothers won five doubles championships at Wimbledon, making Willie Renshaw a 12-times Wimbledon champion and world number one in 1881.

In 1888, Willie was elected as first president of the British Lawn Association. Well worth a browse through the International Tennis Hall of Fame

Find out more

Read about other sporting heroes with epilepsy:

Share this article: