UK PADEL NEWS

UK PADEL NEWS

A – Alfonso de Hohenlohe

Nov 21, 2021

Alfonso de Hohenlohe

Alfonso was the man who introduced Padel to Spain, and to Europe. Few figures in Padel history can boast such a colourful lineage. A prince of the house of Hohenlohe-Langenburg (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hohenlohe-Langenburg) on his fathers side, and descended from the ruler of the Holy Roman Empire on his mother’s side, he comes from one of those aristocratic families that spans Europe. He could, for example, count among his relatives Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh. Here he is with his brother in law (let’s not talk about his first marriage!).

His relationship with Padel, however, starts inevitably beyond Europe, with a most peculiar friend: Enrique Corcuera. A wealthy Mexican sports fanatic, Corcuera had more or less accidentally invented Padel in the late 1960s. Alfonso was fortunate enough to be among those invited round to his villa for a match of this novel sport — and he fell in love with it. 

Now, something else you should know about this Alfonso was that he was a businessman. And one of his ventures, founded in 1954, was the Marbella Club, a meeting place for the grand families of Europe and the stars of Hollywood. As you can see, he was in an ideal position to make any Padel fantasies he may have entertained a reality, and in 1974, he constructed the first two Padel courts in Europe, there in Marbella.

      After that, it spread like the idea of ice cream on a scorching hot day. Before long, King Juan Carlos was playing it, Wimbledon champion Manola Santana was playing it — it was all the rage. And is still growing.

      If you’re looking to find a court local to you, our list might be of some help. You can also check out our videos of Padel or find out more about the sport here.

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