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Paul Hutchins MBE, former British Davis Cup captain, passes away at the age of 73

Paul Hutchins MBE, former British professional tennis player and Davis Cup captain, has passed away at the age of 73.

Hutchins passed away peacefully in the presence of his family on Wednesday afternoon following a battle with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) which is also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

A statement from his family read: "It's with heartbreaking sadness that we say goodbye to him.

Paul passionately dedicated his life to his family and to an incredible career in tennis. It was his wish for us to thank the very many who have been part of it. He will be very dearly missed."

Paying tribute to a man who contributed so much to tennis, Scott Lloyd, LTA CEO said:

"Paul was a true hero of tennis in Britain, first as a player, then as a coach, captain, commentator and administrator dedicating over 50 years of loyal service.

"Anyone who came into contact with him could not have failed to be touched by his passion for the sport, his passion for life and his real, genuine interest in people.

While we reflect on his memory, his lasting legacy to tennis will endure for a long time to come. Our thoughts go out to his family and all those who were fortunate enough to know Paul."

Richard Lewis, the chief executive of the All England Club and a former Davis Cup player, said Hutchins "was a great leader, had extraordinary attention to detail, and always had the best of intentions when dealing with everyone in tennis."

Hutchins is longest-serving British Davis Cup captain, having taken charge of 31 ties over 13 years, including the 1978 final, which they lost to the USA.

He served a number of roles, including a stint as the LTA's head of men's tennis, team leader of Britain's 2012 London Olympics tennis squad and tournament director of the Nottingham championships.

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