I am so sad to hear the news tonight that Paul Hutchins passed away today. I feel very emotional because, in so many ways, Paul was my tennis and life hero.

He achieved so much in tennis, first as a Professional player playing in Grand Slams and playing Davis Cup for his nation and then later as captain of the GB Davis Cup team that reached the finals in 1978.

There was so much that he achieved in tennis but more important than the tennis achievements was the quality of the man. He was so positive and incredibly supportive of the younger generation, me included.

I met Paul in 1984 when we did our LTA top coach award which involved a 2 weeks’ residential course in Bisham Abbey. On the course, Paul was so nice to me, a nobody, and this encouragement and support continued over the years. He has a wonderful family, which I know he regarded as his biggest achievement, and he had so many friends all over the world.

Tonight I lost someone I truly respected and whose friendship I valued so much. My hero Paul Hutchins.

May he rest in peace.