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In 1883 the first purpose built court was built by Vernon Harcourt in Oxford (although the standard measurements were not agreed until 1911). In 1886 the first set of Rules were laid down.
The Squash Rackets Association was founded in 1928 to take over the administration of the game in Britain from the Tennis and Rackets Association. It was the recognised World authority for squash until the formation in 1967 of the International Squash Rackets Federation (which later became the World Squash Federation). In 1934 the Women’s Squash Rackets Association was created.
Both Associations looked after Squash in Great Britain until 1980 when the responsibility for Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales was devolved to autonomous national associations.
The men’s and women’s associations amalgamated in 1989 under the title of the Squash Rackets Association – in 2001 the Association was re-launched as England Squash. At the turn of the century the National Squash Centre was built as part of the facilities for the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games – England Squash moved north to its new home in Manchester in 2000.
England Squash was re-branded to England Squash & Racketball in February 2009.
The first British Open was held in 1922 for men and women at Queens club in London. In 1950 Janet Shardlow won the first of her ten titles, and in the same year Hashim Khan won his first title. The men’s championships was subsequently dominated by the Khan family until 1963. In 1963 Heather Blundell (McKay) won the first of her sixteen titles and in 1966 Jonah Barrington won his first of six Open titles. He was to have many battles with Geoff Hunt of Australia who won his first of eight Open titles in 1969. In 1982 a new dynasty arrived and Jahangir Khan won the first of ten Open titles. In 2006 Nick Matthew became the first Englishman for over 60 years to win the British Open.
The World Amateur Individual Championship was first held in 1967 in Australia with Geoff Hunt the winner. The sport went ‘open’ in 1997 and the distinction between amateurs and professionals was abolished.
The inaugural World Championship for men took place in 1976 with Geoff Hunt again the first Champion. In 1999 Peter Nicol took the title when representing Scotland but most recently Nick Matthew was crowned World Champion in 2010 by beating James Willstrop 3-1 in the first ever all-English final.
The first World Amateur Team Championships for men was also held in 1967 but it was not until 1976 that Great Britain took the title and again in 1979. In 1995 England became champions again retaining it in 1997 and again in 2005 and 2007.
Women’s World Championships
Heather McKay of Australia won the first Individual Championship in Brisbane, Australia in 1976 and it was not until 1989 that England had its first champion, Martine le Moignan in Amsterdam. Cassie Jackman won again in 1999.
Women’s World Team Championships
The first championships were held in Birmingham in 1979 with Great Britain the champions. England won in Ireland in 1985, New Zealand 1987, Netherlands 1989, and Australia in 1990. They regained the title in Sheffield in 2000 and again in 2006 in Canada.
World Junior Men’s Championships
The first Junior Men’s Individual Championships were held in Sweden in 1980 though it was not until Del Harris in 1988 won for England. Simon Parke won in 1990 and James Willstrop in 2002. The first team championships for boys were also held in Sweden in 1980 and England took the title for the first time in 1990 in Germany. They subsequently won it in 1996, 1998 and 2000.
The World Junior Women’s Championships
The Individual Championships started in 1981 when Lisa Opie and Martine Le Moignan (both from England) contested the final with Opie winning. Other English winners include Lucy Soutter in 1985, Donna Vardy in 1989, Cassie Jackman 1991 and Tania Bailey in 1997. The Team Championships began in 1985 and England won in 1987, 1989, 1991, 1997 and 2001.
1998 saw Squash included for the first time in Malaysia and England won 1 gold, 2 silver and 4 bronze medals. In 2002 the games were held in Manchester and England won 1 gold, 2 silver and 4 bronze medals. Melbourne hosted the 2006 Games and Peter Nicol won the gold medal in the singles and doubles with England also winning 3 bronze medals.
The 2010 Games were held in Delhi, India and 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.
The first European Men’s Team Championships were held in Edinburgh in 1973 with England winning the title – since 1993 they have been undefeated champions. In 1978 the first Women’s championships were held in Amsterdam which saw England victorious – a title they retained until 2009.
World International Doubles Championships
Doubles has been played since the 1920’s on singles courts but in 1992 the World Squash Federation approved dimensions for a doubles court.
The first International Doubles Championships were held in 1997 in Hong Kong with England taking the gold medal for the men, silver for the women and mixed. England did not compete in 2004 and 2006.
To view the history records click here!