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Tributes to keen tennis player from Surbiton who collapsed during game at St George's Hill, Weybridge
A passionate and active tennis player from Surbiton died while playing a match at a Weybridge tennis club on Sunday.
Philip Hanna, 61, originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, had been a member of the Coombe Wood Lawn Tennis Club since last spring, after he moved to the UK to be with his daughter, who had recently given birth.
Mr Hanna had been playing a tennis match at St George’s Hill Lawn Tennis Club on Sunday as part of the Surrey league.
He had been playing for a couple of hours and was about to serve when he “keeled over” and banged his head.
Ian Stewart, captain of the men’s fifth team, was at the match on Sunday and said Mr Hanna was in a bad way.
Two ambulances attended the scene and tried to resuscitate Mr Hanna for more than an hour, but he sadly died at the scene. Mr Stewart, member secretary and captain of the men’s fifth team, said: “He was a larger than life character and he quickly made lots of friends at the tennis club.
“For his age he was very fast around the court and had a reputation for getting every ball.
“Philip was a very talkative individual and very keen on rugby and had lots to say but had a very thick accent.”
Mr Stewart said Mr Hanna’s daughter had been a member of the same tennis club some years earlier.
Sunny Dimic, head coach at Coombe Wood Lawn Tennis Club, said: “He had been a member since last spring. He was a great guy. He played tennis about four or five times a week.
“It was a big shock. He was a lovely person and a really fit person so for it to happen during match time it is very sad and tragic. It is a great loss.”
Mr Hanna was a member of the veterans’ team and the men’s fifth team.
St George’s Hill Lawn Tennis Club did not release a statement in relation with the incident.
A Surrey Police spokesman said: “Surrey Police attended an address in St George’s Hill, Weybridge shortly after 3.30pm on Sunday, February 24, following reports of a concern for safety.
“Paramedics from South East Coast Ambulance Service alerted police that they had attended an address following reports that a man had collapsed.
“The man was taken by ambulance to St Peter’s Hospital in Chertsey but was later pronounced dead.
“The death is being treated as unexplained but at this stage there is no indication of any third party involvement.
“The matter has now been passed to the coroner’s office.”
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