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George Sanders

George Sanders

One of the most complex, aloof yet attractive figures ever to wield a croquet mallet was the late and lofty George Sanders, who left this croquet world back in 1972. Just as Bjorn Borg wears the same garb in major competition, George was always to be found rain or shine, hot or cold, at the Goldwyn Court, bare-footed in bathing shorts, an indescribable head-gear, and a leaf over his nose to keep off the hot sun's glare, which many opponents hoped would turn out to be poison ivy. In his firm hand he held a heavy Jaques mallet with a large malacca handle, which he used alongside, rather than the more conventional stroke between his bare legs. Known as the "side saddle stroke," it has been seen in major croquet, used by the late Margaret Emerson and our recent addition, Dick Dougherty. Sanders was a brilliant player, with great strength. He was utterly imperturbable, but not above giving rivals a bit of gamesmanship. His "farmhouse" at Vilas Canyon, where one would break for lunch on his croquet lawn, the table carried there by a faithful and uncomplaining Filipino valet, was a most attractive place to joust. As Sanders was selective to the point of reluctance with his invitations, they were snapped up, once given.

Married to two of the three Gabor sisters, although not simultaneously, as well as to Benita Hume, widow of Ronald Colman, Sanders was always considered the perfect Englishman. But he was half-Russian, which acounted for his often moody, sardonic, yet unfailingly provocative outlook on life.

George Sanders was inducted into the United States Croquet Hall of Fame in 1980.

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George Sanders in Wikipedia

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