Tennis ace honoured by Queen

Leon Smith, a former coach at both Giffnock and Clarkston Tennis Clubs who is one of the most powerful men in the sport, has been named in the Queen’s Honours List.

Not only is he the Davis Cup captain, he is also Head of British Tennis at the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) - meaning only Andy Murray and the chief executive of the LTA, Michael Downey, are more influential within UK tennis.

It’s been a meteoric rise for the 39-year-old, and it’s fair to say that his OBE was a well-deserved award.

And it was in May this year that the tennis supremo returned to his old stomping grounds in the southside to coach kids as part of the UK-wide Davis Cup Trophy Tour.

It was a memorable day for the club - one of celebrations, coaching sessions for enthusiastic youngsters, photo opportunities with the iconic trophy, and sunshine.

Leon said at the time: “It really is amazing, today’s been great. Giffnock was my first coaching job. I was assistant coach here, that was the first step into the coaching world, aged I think 18 or 19.

“But it was at Clarkston Tennis Club where I grew up playing tennis from the age of eight years old and then was also at my school Hutcheson’s Grammar School, at the primary school there, so it means an awful lot to be able to come back home.

And now Arnold Clark has announced their sponsorship deal of the highly talented individual.

The motoring organisation is supporting Smith by providing him with a Mercedes-Benz GL350.

When commenting on his recent trip to collect his new car at Hillington, Leon said: “It’s fantastic to be partnering with Arnold Clark, and I thank them for my amazing new car. The car will help me travel between events and carry out my various duties as captain of the British Davis Cup team.”

Russell Borrie, Group Franchise Director of Arnold Clark, was there to hand over the car to Leon, followed by an in-depth walkaround of his new car.

Russell said: “Supporting a tennis star who hails from the same city as Sir Arnold Clark, and who has worked his way up in the sport is a real honour.

“It was a great pleasure to meet Leon and present him with his car. I am sure it will be put to good use and I know he will enjoy the drive.”

Leon will officially receive his OBE at a ceremony later this year.