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Padel Tennis – Now at The Northern! Call 0161 445 3093 or click here to book online.                     
Padel Tennis – Now at The Northern! Call 0161 445 3093 or click here to book online.                     
Padel Tennis – Now at The Northern! Call 0161 445 3093 or click here to book online.                     
Padel Tennis – Now at The Northern! Call 0161 445 3093 or click here to book online.                     
Padel Tennis – Now at The Northern! Call 0161 445 3093 or click here to book online.                     
Padel Tennis – Now at The Northern! Call 0161 445 3093 or click here to book online.                     

About The Northern

Wimbledon of the North

Founded nearly 140 years ago, The Northern is one of the oldest lawn tennis clubs in the UK – in fact, one of the oldest in the world.

The Northern Lawn Tennis Association was set up in 1879, nine years before the National Lawn Tennis Association, with the object of staging a tournament to rival the new Wimbledon Tournament, launched just two years earlier.

The club was originally located in Old Trafford, eight miles from its current site, but as the century drew to a close, rapid industrialisation made tennis conditions difficult: “… new balls became black after only a few games and a collision with the stop netting caused a well-defined pattern of it to appear on one’s flannels.”

The Clubhouse was duly dismantled and re-erected in leafy Didsbury in 1909. In 1936, two squash courts were added and the North of England Squash Championship was held at the Northern for the first time in 1949.

Our history

Manchester “City of Tennis”

The Northern had by then successfully launched its international tennis tournament and also started to host Davis Cup matches. Tennis Greats such as Ken Rosewall and Maureen “Little Mo” Connolly both won here in the 1950s.

Jimmy Connors triumphed in 1974, and the 1980s and 1990s went on to be glorious decades for Northern tennis with John McEnroe, Jeremy Bates, Stefan Edberg, Pete Sampras (winning his first ever grass court tournament), Goran Ivanesevic and Pat Rafter all victorious.

In 1969, The Northern made history as the first club in the North of England to have an indoor tennis court and in 1974 introduced glassbacked squash courts.

In 1997, two new indoor tennis courts were added, along with 3 American clay courts plus gym and fitness facilities. Fast forward to 2019 and plans for two further indoor courts are currently under consideration.

Grass roots

Building the Future

But growth in sport is not only about bricks and mortar. Playing facilities are a means to an end and the Northern has always aimed to produce its own, homegrown Greats.

Top tennis siblings Naomi and Liam Broady learned their tennis here; Naomi reached her highest world singles ranking of 76 in 2016 and her highest doubles ranking of 56 just over a year later. Liam, the current British no 4, reached his highest ranking of 154 in 2018.

And in squash, the Northern’s Head Professional Julianne Courtice reached a World Ranking of 40 in December 2018.

With role models like these, and with a host of talented junior players at the Northern eager to follow their example, the club’s future is surely as bright as its history.

A club for everyone

Community Engagement

After more than a century of high-level tennis and squash, the Northern has shields and silverware a-plenty.

But one of our newest – and rather unexpected – achievements had nothing to do with racquet skills at all. It was for flowers – a Gold Certificate from the North West Regional RHS as part of the Didsbury in Bloom entry for Britain in Bloom.

Our partnership with Didsbury in Bloom, and in particular local volunteer group The Friends of Parsonage Gardens, is just one example of the club’s commitment to being a good neighbour.

In the wider community, we work with the Lawn Tennis Association, England Squash and Manchester City Council to bring sporting opportunities to adults and children who would not otherwise have access to facilities such as the Northern’s.

Closer to home, we have worked with Christie Hospital to help patients recover their health through sport. And our schools programme inspires literally hundreds of children every year to take up tennis and squash, helping them to lead healthy and active lives.

A club with purpose

Our Values

The Northern believes in:-

Sporting Tradition: Founded in 1881, the Northern was one of the first lawn tennis clubs in the world. We are proud of our history and our progressive outlook is firmly rooted in the great traditions of British sport.

Sporting Opportunity: we encourage people of all ages and all levels of ability to engage in sport and fitness activities to suit their needs.

Sporting Achievement: we will support all members in achieving their full potential in their chosen activity through provision of top level coaching advice and the most up to date facilities.

Sporting Excellence: we aim to be the top regional showcase for racquet sports and the venue of choice for both players and spectators.

Member Participation: The Northern is a not for profit organisation, run by a volunteer members’ committee. We believe all members have a valuable contribution to make to this process.

Welcome and Wellbeing: we offer a friendly and secure environment for members and their families to enjoy their leisure, improve their fitness and enhance their wellbeing.

Connect with us

Remember to tag us in your posts #thenorthern

Our team

Jonathan Kinsella

Director of Tennis

Des Ruchwaldy

Head Groundsman

Jayne France


James Ellinsworth


Debbi Usher


Aidan Ryan


Interested in partnering with us?

Call reception on 0161 445 3093 or email us

Contact & Location

0161 445 3093

The Northern
Palatine Road, West Didsbury,
Manchester, M20 3YA
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Opening hours

Monday 7am–11pm
Tuesday 7am–11pm
Wednesday 7am–11pm
Thursday 7am–11pm
Friday 7am–11pm
Saturday 8am–11pm
Sunday 8am–8pm

Book Online / In-App

Members can book online, call reception on 0161 445 3093 or via our MindBody app.