FRED PERRY Early successes born in 1872 The house where Fred Perry was born His father, Samuel Perry, was elected to the British House of Commons as a Co-operative member for Kettering. Perry was a Table Tennis World Champion in 1929 before taking up tennis at the relatively late age of 18. He had exceptional speed from his table tennis days and played with the Continental grip, attacking the ball low and on the rise. He was the first player to win all four Grand Slam singles titles, though not all in the same year. He was the first to have achieved the "Career Grand Slam," doing so at the age of 26. Perry is the last British player to win the Wimbledon men's singles title, winning it three times in a row and becoming a British icon. In 1933 Perry helped lead his team to victory over France in the Davis Cup, which earned Great Britain the Davis Cup for the first time in 21 years. Personal life Perry was one of the leading bachelors of the 1930s and his off-court romances were sensationalised in the world press. Perry had a romantic relationship with actress Marlene Dietrich and in 1934 he announced his engagement to British actress Mary Lawson, but the relationship fell apart after Perry relocated to America. In 1935 he married American film star Helen Vinson, but their marriage ended in divorce in 1940. The following year Perry was briefly married to model Sandra Breaux and in 1945 he married to Lorraine Walsh, but the marriage ended quickly. Perry's final marriage to Barbara Riese in 1952 lasted forty years, until his death. Fred Perry clothing brand In the late 1940s, Perry was approached by Tibby Wegner, an Austrian footballer who had invented an anti-perspirant device worn around the wrist. Perry made a few changes and invented the sweatband. Wegner's next idea was to produce a sports shirt, which was to be made from white knitted cotton pique with short sleeves and buttons down the front. Launched at Wimbledon in 1952, the Fred Perry polo shirt was an immediate success. The brand is best known for its laurel logo, which appears on the left breast of the tennis shirts. The laurel logo (based on the old Wimbledon symbol) was stitched into the fabric of the shirt instead of merely ironed on (as was the case with the crocodile logo of the competing Lacoste brand). The white polo shirt was only supplemented in the late 50s when the mods picked up on it and demanded a more varied colour palette. It was the shirt of choice for diverse groups of teenagers throughout the 1960s and 70s, ranging from the skinheads to the Northern Soul scene.