AS the country’s tennis fans have enjoyed watching a new generation of home-grown players at Wimbledon, it’s worth remembering that two of the tournament’s greatest British champions learned the sport in Wirral.

Born in Bebington in 1871, Lottie Dod can lay claim to being one of the greatest sportswomen this country has ever produced and deserves to be a household name.

She was born the youngest of four children to Joseph and Margaret Dod. Joseph, from Liverpool, had made a fortune in the cotton trade and when she was 11, Lottie joined the Rock Ferry Tennis Club in Birkenhead.

Nicknamed ‘little wonder’ by the press, she went on to win the women’s title at Wimbledon five times, the first when she was only 15 in the summer of 1887. She remains the youngest ladies’ singles champion, but her achievements didn’t stop there. At the age of 21, she became the English women’s golf champion in 1904 and then won a silver medal for archery at the 1908 Olympics, while also playing twice for the England hockey team.

Wirral Globe: Charlotte 'Lottie' Dodd Charlotte 'Lottie' Dodd

Lottie also rode a toboggan on the famous Cresta run and was a world class ice skater and mountaineer. She died in 1960 aged 88 while she listening to the Wimbledon radio broadcasts in bed.

Although not strictly from Wirral (he was born in Stockport), Fred Perry spent much of his childhood in Wallasey, where his father Samuel Perry, a cotton spinner, was involved in local politics. He attended Liscard Primary School and Wallasey Grammar School before moving to West London in his teens.

Perry won three consecutive Wimbledon championships from 1934 to 1936 and was World Amateur number one tennis player during those three years. Prior to Andy Murray in 2013, Perry was the last British player to win the men’s Wimbledon championship, in 1936, and the last British player to win a men’s singles Grand Slam title until Andy Murray won the 2012 US Open.

He died in 1995 aged 85, but his name lives on in the iconic sportswear company he launched in 1952.