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David McLernon 1944-2022

It all started at noon on May 1, 1967 when David playing in his first tournament - the Canadian Centennial Invitational - met up with Willie Surtees and, although he lost a close match, a strong friendship and rivalry followed. He achieved a little revenge by overcoming the World Champion in the Canadian Amateur in 1971 and 1972 as well as the US Amateur final in 1985 and as Willie has stated - “He was Canada’s best ever Rackets player”.

Throughout a career of memorable matches David’s achievements included 19 Club Singles, 16 Club Doubles, 4 US Amateur Singles, 6 US Amateur Doubles, 1 US Open Singles and 1 US Open Doubles. These multiple victories along with successes in the Western Open, the Tuxedo Gold Racquets and the various Quadrathlons or Quintathlons including his victories on the tennis courts and the golf links are the marks of an outstanding athlete.

David was also a great ambassador for the Montreal Racket Club as its President and as an active participant in the rackets community. The inner drive he portrayed on the courts was extended to the gaming table or the dance floor and he was definitely the guiding light for an outstanding Rackets Tournament weekend.

He will be sorely missed for his friendship and his camaraderie by the partners who benefited from playing with him, by his opponents and by all who knew him.


DRC Members on David McLernon:

"David was a very good friend of the Detroit Racquet Club and its members. There are so many great memories of David, certainly on the court where he was a marvelous athlete, winning many singles titles and teaming with our own Murray Sales to be a formidable doubles team. Off the court, he was too much fun. No need for specifics but always with a mischievous eye and a sly laugh, a terrific guy. In Racquets, the word "play" has two meanings, on the court David was the essence of what the sport commands at the highest level; off the court, he was great fun to be with and served that meaning of the word to a very high degree as well. We in Detroit lament his passing." - Kevin Broderick

"David was a very special guy and integral to the revival of NA racquets in the 70’s. Without him Surtees would not have had a Sunday finals appointment. And he was an even stronger ‘player’ off the court!" - John O'Brien

"I first met David McLernon in the late 1970’s when he would visit the Detroit Racquet Club to compete in NARA tournaments. The singles finals in those days were almost always a match between David and world champion, Willie Surtees. Those matches were epic and the level of play and competition unlike anything I had ever seen on a rackets court. What made it even more incredible was both David and Willie played off the court as hard as they played on. David played rackets like a hockey player, charging the ball in a ferocious manner and hitting it like a slap shot. I was always in awe of David, his play and the way he represented the game. I was fortunate to become a friend of David’s over the years. He stayed at my home in Grosse Pointe several times during tournaments in Detroit and I always enjoyed catching up and spending time with David on my visits to Montreal. The rackets community and I will miss him dearly." - Bryan Melvin III

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