Jimmy Wood was a classic Scottish lad o’ pairts – somebody with an interest in and talent for everything from art and education to sport.
And in particular tennis, as he won no less than seven Wimbledon titles in his 50s, 60s and 70s.
Long before Andy Murray lifted the singles crown at the famous London venue, Aberdeen-born Mr Wood, who died at the weekend at the age of 85, was courting success in leafy SW 19.
He was the north-east champion a remarkable 25 times. And he competed in the prestigious International Tennis Federation World Super-Seniors in Australia.
A former goalkeeper at Banks O’Dee FC, he was a well-known figure throughout the region and once explained why tennis meant so much to him.
He said: “It’s a game from the cradle to the grave, from being a tiny kid to an old-age pensioner like myself.
“I won my first senior title at the National Veterans Grass Courts Championships in 1994 and I’ve been adding to it ever since.”
As a member of Cults TC for more than 70 years, Mr Wood packed plenty of other activities into his life before he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s.
He and his wife, Jacqueline, had eight sons – Stephen, David, Michael, Jimmy, Robbie, Peter, Calum and Sean – and they have all enjoyed tennis, while Calum represented Scotland at hockey.
However, David Wood highlighted yesterday how his father had also been a popular teacher and talented sculptor.
He said: “Dad packed a lot into his life and although he was delighted to be winning at Wimbledon and playing in Australia, tennis was just one of his interests.
“He was also the head of the art department at Aberdeen College and he a sculptor and a painter, somebody whose work went on public display at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh.
“He threw himself into everything he did and while he was surprised at the media interest when he won the titles at Wimbledon, he took it all in his stride.
“Around 12 or 13 years ago, Scotland was desperate for a Wimbledon champion. The Murray lads [Andy and Jamie] came along later, but Dad loved playing the game and he would travel down to London every summer. The trophies kept coming.
“Mum was with him every step of the way before and after he contracted Parkinson’s and she was very proud of him.”
Colin Fleming, the Scottish player who won eight ATP doubles titles and starred for Britain in the Davis Cup, described Mr Wood as a “legend”.
He said: “I remember travelling up to play in the north east and Jimmy was still winning titles in his 70s. He was so intense on court, but it paid off.
“He was obviously a different generation, but we all knew about him and when you look at what he achieved, there’s no doubt he was a legend in Scottish tennis.”