Playing The Moldovans At Tennis. Tony (Tony Hawks). Copyright: Tony Hawks Productions.

Playing The Moldovans At Tennis

Playing The Moldovans At Tennis

Playing The Moldovans At Tennis

It is September 1997. Tony Hawks and Arthur Smith are watching the football round at Tony's house. England are playing Moldova in the World Cup qualifiers and winning easily.

The conversation, oddly, turns to tennis, which Arthur has always asserted is a 'crap game', especially after Tony beat him at it on holiday in Majorca, easily. A pedantic argument ensues, Tony believing that even a 'natural sportsman or sportswoman' couldn't be good at tennis without the proper tuition.

Arthur vowing that most natural sportsmen (like the footballers on the telly) could pick up a racket and, without too much bother, play a good game, in fact, they could beat Tony (ex-Sussex junior champion, former Equity Knockout winner).

And so a childish bet was proffered that Tony couldn't play all of the Moldovan national football team at tennis (I believe a hundred pounds is sufficient to get you doing these kind of things) and beat them all. I could, I could beat them all, said Tony. Not every single one of them, taunted his friend conspiratorially, one of them is bound to be very good. A further carrot was clearly needed. Look if you beat them all then I'll stand naked on Balham High Street and sing the Moldovan National Anthem, with a pixie hat on - on your head. Alright, as long as you supply the hat. The bet was on.

First published: Friday 4th January 2002