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20th September 1976 – 8th January 2019 Age 42
Born in Tasmaniato Elizabeth and the late Christopher Eden, he grew up with his older brother Andrew. Educated at Mt Carmel and St Peters Primary schools and St Virgils College, he graduated with an Arts degree from The University of Tasmania in 1997. He went on to study economics and commerce, but moved overseas before completing his second degree.
Ged’s initiation into real tennis was in the early 90s, when he was introduced to the game by Hobart Real Tennis Club’s Mary McArthur. The Hobart Club rapidly became his second home and social base, and some of his lifelong friendships date back to this time. One particularly memorable club-based weekend was in September 1997 when he celebrated his 21stbirthday in the Trophy Room on Saturday night and won the Australian Amateur Junior Championship on Sunday.
In 1998, armed with rudimentary French, Ged began his professional career at the real tennis club in Bordeaux, where he quickly became a fluent speaker of both standard French and a rich colloquial vocabulary.
Ged’s career in real tennis afforded him the opportunity to travel, live and work in America, England and France, most notably with extended stints in the New York, Harbour, Paris, Bordeaux, Hampton Court, Middlesex and Seacourt clubs, and many locums during his decades in the world of tennis.
Following Jonathan Howell’s relocation to Australia in 2008, Ged became the International Real Tennis Professionals’ Association (IRTPA) chairman, remaining in that position until his death.
Ged’s commitment to the sport of real tennis and the welfare of his fellow professionals was paramount in his drive to support, advance and protect the interests of all those employed as professionals in the sport.
He was fearless in his advocacy and was guided by a strong moral compass which, combined with an immense brain and razor-sharp wit, made him a force to be reckoned with!
Ged was instrumental in many changes to the game and its structures that will continue to benefit professionals and amateurs and are not likely to be forgotten.
While a person of absolute integrity and uncompromising honesty, he was no paragon of virtue and could be moody and brooding. He found it difficult to tolerate stupidity and would often express himself with really long words which had people diving for the dictionary or thesaurus. He could not abide disingenuousness and was perfectly happy to deliver ‘truth bombs’ to friend or foe should they deserve it.
Ged had a wicked sense of humour, although it could sometimes be a ‘whoosh’ over peoples’ heads. He chose his friends carefully, but if you became one, he was generous, kind, sensitive and would always be there for you.
For his family, fiancée Maryann, and wide circle of friends, he will be sorely missed and they have our most heartfelt condolences.
For the IRTPA, many of the projects he was working on will come to fruition and they will be Ged’s legacy to the sport to which he enthusiastically devoted his working life.