Nora Perry

Nora Perry
United Kingdom
Born: 15 June, 1954

Nora Perry reigned supreme on the English and international badminton courts for over a decade. She excelled in both women's and mixed doubles with over 75 international titles in individual competition. Her most successful tournaments were the Danish Open with 10 titles; the All England Championships, the Swedish Open and the Portugal International with 8 titles each; and the Canadian Open with 7 titles.

She also claimed 10 national and 6 European Championships titles – 4 in individual and 2 in team competition. She is mostly remembered for being the only British player to have won two World Championships titles: one in women's doubles in 1980 followed by another one in mixed doubles in 1983.

Perry was able to reach the highest peaks of badminton with a wide variety of partners but her most successful partnerships were with Mike Tredgett in mixed doubles and Jane Webster in women's doubles. With these two exceptional players, she won 16 mixed doubles and 13 women's doubles titles respectively.

Always elegant and well-dressed, Perry was renowned for her touch at the net and the precision and effectiveness of her trade mark swivel low serve.

In 1999, she was inducted into the IBF Hall of Fame and given a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire award by the Queen of England in 1984 for her services in badminton.

She was elected as a BWF Council member in 2009 and is currently in charge of Badminton Development at the Davenant Foundation School in Essex, England.

Nora Gardner started playing badminton at Gable Hall School in Corringham, England, when she was 12 years old. The young Englishwoman first started collecting titles at the 1971 English National Junior Championships, where she triumphed in both Singles and Women's Doubles. A year later, she achieved a Triple Crown.

The tall blonde earned her first international titles at the Scottish Open and Portugal International in 1972 and 1973. She quickly moved to higher grounds when she was picked to join the English team at the 1974 Commonwealth Games held in New Zealand. At the Commonwealth Games, Perry and the late Paul Whetnall reached the finals of the mixed doubles Individual event but had to settle for the silver medal when Perry’s partner got injured in the semi-finals and the duo had to give a walkover to compatriots, Derek Talbot and Gillian Gilks.

Perry quickly added more titles to her repertoire at the 1975 All England Championships. Despite being unseeded with Elliot Stuart, they tore through the competition and upset the Indonesian favorites on their way to victory. With her first All England title in mixed doubles, the legend of Nora Perry had been born.

Honors flourished for Nora Perry in the next decade with over 75 international titles in individual competition. On the Grand Prix Circuit, the Danish Open was to become her most successful tournament with 10 titles won. The All England Championships, Swedish Open and Portugal International were not to be forgotten with 8 titles each and the Canadian Open with 7 titles. Nora Perry’s talent and versatility was particularly displayed at the All England Championships with six titles in mixed doubles (1975, 1978, 1980, 1981, 1983, and 1985) with no less than four different partners!

Nora Perry also established her domination on the European scene with titles in both women's and mixed doubles events at the 1978 and 1980 European Championships. In the 1978 European Championships, she contributed to England’s gold medal in the team event. She was the author of the same feat at the 1978 Commonwealth Games, with gold medals in women's doubles with Ann Statt, mixed doubles with Mike Tredgett and the team event for Team England.

Nora Perry had a similar success story at the World Championships. At the very first edition of the event, she won 2 bronze medals in both doubles events. Better things were to come at the following 1980 World Championships with a women's doubles title with Jane Webster - with whom she went on to win 12 more international titles. In that year's World Championship, Nora Perry and her partners, Jane Webster and Mike Tredgett, were the only non-Indonesian finalists.

In front of a packed Istora Senayan stadium in Jakarta, Nora and Jane easily beat home crowd favorites Verawaty Wiharjo and Imelda Wiguna in women's doubles but was unable to replicate her success with Tredgett in the mixed doubles against Christian Hadinata and Imelda Wiguna whom Perry defeated earlier to take the World Championship women's doubles crown. That defeat in mixed doubles would be remedied at the following World Championships in 1983.

In that tournament, she partnered Thomas Kihlström of Sweden whom was said to be the oldest player of the tournament. They triumphed in the final, beating the Danish duo of Steen Fladberg and Pia Nielsen.

To this day, Perry remains the only British player to have won two World Championships titles. With two gold medals, two silver and two bronze, she holds the record of the most World Championships medals won by a British player.

Just weeks after giving birth to her daughter, Gemma, Perry was back on the court to represent her home country at the 1984 Uber Cup. At this prestigious team tournament, she greatly contributed to one of England’s only two silver medals in Uber Cup competition. Unfortunately, in the final her team was whitewashed by China who clinched their first Uber Cup title in history.

On top of her international success, Perry had 15 national titles to her name. Five titles were from the junior level, and 10 from the senior circuit. Out of her 6 senior mixed doubles titles, Perry held the national title for 5 years consecutively from 1977 to 1981 with her long-time partner, Mike Tredgett.

Nora Perry won more than 30 international titles in women’s doubles, 13 of them with Jane Webster. Perry recalls the 1982 Japan Open as the “hardest one to win to the very high standard of the local Japanese pairs”.

With over 42 titles in mixed doubles alone, Nora Perry and her net play is regarded as one of the very best in the history of the game. Years later, Nora shared her secret to success. “Even at the net, I use a lot of deception. To that end, I do a lot of wrist-roll exercises so I can now hold shots and play fast attacking lobs and clears as well as split second deflections," confided the tall blonde.

Her net play was not her sole lethal weapon. Her trademark low-serve was devastating in both precision and deception. Her net-skimming and disguised flicks could neutralize the fiercest of attacking play. In women's doubles, she would also favour the net. Despite her height, her quick footwork enabled her to hunt down and annihilate any shuttlecock that appeared within her impressive reach.

Her technical skills were not Perry’s only asset to her game. Very communicative, Perry would easily transmit her will to win to her various partners and her strong personality on court made her a very demanding partner. Always hunting for success, she had the ability to elevate the game of anyone completing a duo with her.

After her playing career, Nora Perry continued to contribute to her sport. She first took up coaching for England at the 1990 Uber Cup campaign and then acted as a selector for the English Badminton Association from 1989 to 1991.

In her personal life, Nora married Joe Perry in 1977. They had two children, Gemma and Lee.

At the height of her career, Queen Elizabeth II honoured Nora Perry with a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) award for services to badminton in 1984. In 1999, she was inducted into the IBF Hall of Fame.

Nora Perry was elected in 2009 to the Badminton World Federation Council and has actively participated in the creation of the BWF Women in Badminton Commission. She was elected Vice President of Badminton England in 2014 and is currently in charge of the Badminton Development Programme at the Davenant Foundation School in Essex, England.

INDIVIDUAL AWARDS

1984 – Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE)

1986 – Badminton Writer’s Association (BWA) Player of the Year

1999 – IBF Hall of Fame

2016 – Badminton Europe Hall of Fame

BIBLIOGRAPHY & REFERENCES

All England 2009 Official Programme

Badminton Handbook (Bernd-Volker Brahms)

Badzine.net

Bwfbadminton.org

Danièle Bouffard

Davenant Foundation School

Encyclopaedia of Badminton (Pat Davis)

Guinness Book of Badminton (Pat Davis)

International Badminton – the first 75 years

Nora Perry

Wikipedia.org

  -- By Yves Lacroix

  • INTERNATIONAL TITLES AND ACHIEVEMENTS (in order by year)
  • 1975 All England (Mixed Doubles with Elliot Stuart)
  • 1978 All England (Mixed Doubles with Mike Tredgett)
  • 1978 Commonwealth Games (Women’s Doubles with Ann Statt)
  • 1978 Commonwealth Games (Mixed Doubles with Mike Tredgett)
  • 1980 All England (Mixed Doubles with Mike Tredgett)
  • 1980 European Championships (Mixed Doubles with Mike Tredgett)
  • 1980 European Championships (Women’s Doubles with Jane Webster)
  • 1980 All England (Women’s Doubles with Gillian Gilks)
  • 1980 World Championships (Women’s Doubles with Jane Webster)
  • 1981 All England (Women’s Doubles with Jane Webster)
  • 1981 All England (Mixed Doubles with Mike Tredgett)
  • 1983 World Championships (Mixed Doubles with Thomas Kihlström)
  • 1983 All England (Mixed Doubles with Thomas Kihlström)
  • 1984 World Cup (Mixed Doubles with Thomas Kihlström)
  • 1985 All England (Mixed Doubles with Billy Gilliland)
  • INTERNATIONAL TEAM EVENT TITLES AND ACHIEVEMENTS
  • 1978 Commonwealth Games (Played for England)
  • 1978 European Team Championships (Played for England)
  • 1982 European Team Championships (Played for England)
  • NATIONAL TITLES AND ACHIEVEMENTS (in order by year)
  • 1974 English National Championships (Women’s Doubles with Gillian Gilks)
  • 1977 English National Championships (Mixed Doubles with Mike Tredgett)
  • 1978 English National Championships (Mixed Doubles with Mike Tredgett)
  • 1978 English National Championships (Women’s Doubles with Anne Statt)
  • 1979 English National Championships (Mixed Doubles with Mike Tredgett)
  • 1980 English National Championships (Mixed Doubles with Mike Tredgett)
  • 1980 English National Championships (Women’s Doubles with Karen Puttick)
  • 1981 English National Championships (Mixed Doubles with Mike Tredgett)
  • 1982 English National Championships (Women’s Doubles with Jane Webster)
  • 1983 English National Championships (Women’s Doubles with Jane Webster)
Nora perry - swedish open - wb june 1981 - pic by louis ross Cover of the book, relaxing badminton by nora perry - wb sep 1982 Nora perry - xd winners all england  - wb june 1983 - pic by preben soborg. Nora perry reacts to winning 3rd w cships xd with t kihlstrom - wb june 1983 - pic by preben soborg. Nora perry at the 2015 women's forum The one and only nora perry - scandinavian masters - wb mar 1982 - pic by preben soborg Nora perry - wd champ 2nd w cships - wb sep 1980 - pic by preben soborg Gillian gilks + nora perry in action in 1985 Mrs jp perry + mg tredgett, top xd pair - wb apr 1978 - pic by lch ross Nora perry + thomas kihlstrom wins 3rd w cships xd - wb june 1983 - pic by preben soborg (l-r) nora perry, mdm lu and li lingwei during the womens forum 2015 women's forum. Nora perry - solo shot - bwf 75th anniversary book Nora perry - 1993 all england - stephen j line picture 308 Nora perry - 3rd world cships - world badminton magazine june 1983 - picture by louis  ross 308 Nora perry 1 - bwf 75th anniversary  book 308 Nora perry - no way past at the net - bwf 75th anniversary book 308