BARRY Barton’s sportsmanship on the tennis court surpassed his playing prowess.
Bill Mountjoy said his long-time friend was “the best player we’ve had in Warrnambool”.
Barton died on August 29, aged 85.
Mountjoy played doubles with Barton for about 20 years.
“He was a very strong player, fairly tall and powerful,” he said.
“He could have gone to higher fields but the call of the country was too much for him.”
Mountjoy said Barton was a “true gentleman”, which was epitomised in his tennis.
“He was a very good sport. You’d never catch him arguing over points — he’d rather give one away,” he said.
“I always said to him ‘you know you’ll win the next one’.”
Mountjoy said Barton had three loves: his family, his Naringal farm and tennis.
“He played up until this year. He used to have a hit with the boys on Wednesdays,” he said.
“He had to have a racquet in his hand. He was always on the committee and very good to juniors.
“He was always a gentleman, always mild-mannered and played with anyone.”
Mountjoy said Barton, who won a country singles championship at Kooyong, where he was a long-time member, helped construct the Warrnambool Lawn Tennis Club courts after World War II.
“He was involved with the manual part of it. He used to come in with his truck,” he said.
“He was a big help in that situation.”
Barton’s funeral was on Wednesday, with the wake at the lawn tennis club.
He is survived by his wife Betty, children Jane and Ken and four grandchildren.