Cuthbert Collingwood “Ted” Tinling was born on June 23, 1910 in Eastborne and died in May 23, 1990. He is fondly called as Teddy Tinling and is known for his professionalism and unique playing style in the courts for sixty years. Not only was Tinling good in the tennis but were also a talented fashion designer and author.
Tinling was the son of the James Alexander Tinling. James was a chartered accountant. He is also the brother of James Collingwood Tinling, member of the group who built the first jet engine.
Tinling suffered bronchial asthma when he was barely a teenager. Upon doctor’s advise, he was sent to French Riviera to get involved in the sports to get a good exercise for his lungs. He joined the Nice Tennis Club where Suzanne Lenglen, a famous tennis player, would practice. Tinlng began to umpire for the matches until he began to play and compete in tournaments. His friendship with Lenglen resulted to him playing at the Wimbledon Championships in 1927. He continued to be a liaison player until 1949 but was eventually cut off when he served the military as a Lieutenant-Colonel of the Intelligence Corps in Germany and Algiers during the World War II.
While he was active in the courts, he designed the sports outfits of the popular female players of his time. He began designing clothes in 1950’s until 1970’s. His legacy was the lace tennis panties but unfortunately caused the leaders of the federation to ask him to leave his position as a Wimbledon member.
Tinling wrote books on tennis in the 1980’s. His respiratory ailment cut short his career and died in 1990. He may be openly gay but it was in his books that revealed he was a British Intelligence spy during the war. But his contributions to the world of tennis were far more exceptional. He was inducted to the 1986 International Tennis Hall of Fame.