NORMAN Rollinson Lewis, better known as Tim, a GP and tennis champion has died at the age of 91.

Born in Lymington in 1925 to Mr and Mrs Reginald Lewis, Tim was one of seven children; Gerald, Roy, Eric, Geoffrey, Nora and Rene. At their family home in New Milton, Tim was brought up on tennis, with their house 'Melrose' possessing its own lawn tennis court.

"In fact he started holding his first junior wooden tennis racket at one year old," said his daughter Sara Pennant-Jones.

At the age of nine Tim was already playing in the Brockenhurst and Milford-on-Sea tournaments which were meant for children over twice his age. When he was 12 he won the Junior Tennis Championship for the under 15s.

Tim attended Homefield School in Christchurch before heading to St Catherine's, Cambridge to study medicine and during his time there represented Cambridge University successfully at tennis.

After graduating from Cambridge he continued playing tennis, representing not only the RAF but also Great Britain at the Davis Cup. He also represented Britain at Wimbledon competing throughout the early 1950s.

"Coached at times by Dan Maskell and Fred Perry, Tim was an attacking player who liked to take the ball early," said Sara.

However, Tim also had to juggle the priorities of practicing and playing tennis with his medical studies at Westminster Hospital.

An article from the well renowned Daily Graphic sports correspondent Laurie Pignon in April 1949 read,"Tim, 21, aims to be a surgeon and Davis Cup tennis star. This is a week Tim Lewis a London medical student will remember, first to become a surgeon and second to play lawn tennis for Britain."

In the RAF Tim served as a medical officer at RAF Halton before a posting to Chessington helped him to balance his tennis with service life, with access to both Queens Club and Wimbledon.

In 1953 Tim married Lorna Mackey, a 24 year old nurse receptionist and they settled in Leatherhead in Surrey where Tim served as a GP to over 3000 patients as well as serving RAF Headley Court.

During his retirement he played golf with friends and spent more time with his family and his dog. Tim would often give the family a tough game of table tennis and take them to watch Wimbledon every year.

After Lorna died in 2010 Tim remained living near his eldest daughter Jenny and her family until 2015 when with the onset of Alzheimer's he moved to live closer to his daughter Jane in a care home in Newport Pagnell where he died on February 26 with his family around him.

"He will be sorely missed by family, friends and patients as he was a true family doctor and a truly loving father and grandfather in every way," said Sara.

A Service of Thanksgiving will be held at Christ Church, Epsom Road, Leatherhead at 12 noon on March 20.