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History of squash in England

1830 Pupils at Harrow School discovered that a punctured racket ball, which ‘squashed’ on impact with the wall, produced a game with a wider range of shots that tested the players more.

1883 The first purpose-built court was built by Vernon Harcourt in Oxford.

1886 The first set of rules were agreed.

1911 Standard court measurements agreed.

1922 First British Open was held for men and women at Queen’s Club in London.

1928 The Squash Rackets Association was founded to take over the administration in Britain from the Tennis and Rackets Association. It was the recognised World authority for squash.

1934 The Women’s Squash Rackets Association was created.

1950 Janet Shardlow and Hashim Khan won their first British Open titles.

1963 Heather Blundell (McKay) won the first of her sixteen British Open titles.

1966 Jonah Barrington won his first of six British Open titles.

1967 The International Squash Rackets Federation (which later became the World Squash Federation) takes over the world governance of squash.

1979 Great Britain won the first Women’s World Team Championship, held in Birmingham.

1980 The responsibility for Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales was devolved to autonomous national associations.

1989 The men’s and women’s associations amalgamated under the title of the Squash Rackets Association.

1998 England won 1 gold, 2 silver and 4 bronze medals as squash is included for the first time at the Commonwealth Games.

2000 The National Squash Centre was built as part of the facilities for the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games – with England Squash moving to its HQ to the centre.

2001 The Association was re-launched as England Squash.

2006 Nick Matthew became the first Englishman for over 60 years to win the British Open.

2009 England Squash was re-branded to England Squash & Racketball.

2010 England completed a historic gold, silver and bronze in the men’s singles. Nick Matthew was a double gold medal winner after also winning the men’s doubles with Adrian Grant. Jenny Duncalf won silver in the women’s singles and doubles with partner Laura Massaro.

British tournament records

Squash in England has seen many great champions in its history. View the champions across a range of tournaments.