We take a look at centenary celebrations at Sandiway Golf Club and profile the fascinating legendary former captain Max Woosnam - an Olympian who won at Wimbledon, played football for Manchester City and taught Hollywood superstar Charlie Chaplin a thing or two about table tennis

SANDIWAY Golf Club have started their centenary year in style.

Junior captain Liam Gobin raised the centenary flag, watched by the club’s longest serving member Ewart Palin (joined in 1946), the longest serving lady member Sue Bennett, club dignitaries and guest of honour David Briggs MBE KStJ the Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire, and many members.

Northwich Guardian:

This was followed by the unveiling of the Sandiway Centenary Stone by men’s captain Frank Harding and lady captain Sally Brown.

Northwich Guardian:

And then in the clubhouse the president, Nigel Evans OBE, made a short welcoming address and the Lord Lieutenant proposed a toast to the club and cut the centenary cake.

Sandiway is one of Cheshire’s top clubs, with a great history, a wonderful course and has staged numerous top tournaments since it was founded in 1920.

The course was designed by Edward Rivers John ‘Ted’ Ray who was famed for winning The Open in 1912 and the US Open in 1920 and he was also the first man to captain the British team in the inaugural Ryder Cup match against the USA in 1927.

Sandiway is considered to be unique in providing three presidents of the national golfing governing bodies – John Bennett (English Golf Union, 1997), Sue Bennett (Executive Women’s Golf Association, 2002) and Nigel Evans (England Golf, 2015).

During the Second World War Sandiway also had links with the American forces who were stationed in the area and they made many friends at Sandiway and regularly played the course

On a large beech tree near to the ladies fifth tee is a carving – REC OHIO USA 1944-, done prior to D Day.

They also left their mark on the course by bulldozing soil to make a rifle butt 40 feet high which is now used as the fourth tee and provides one of the best views of the course.

Two stone plaques at both locations detail the Americans’ presence and impact.

Another Sandiway legend is the 1929 captain Max Woosnam, a regional sporting hero who lived from 1892-1965.

At Winchester College he captained both the golf and cricket teams as well as representing the school at football and squash.

He continued his sporting prowess at Cambridge University representing them at cricket, lawn tennis, real tennis and soccer.

During the First World War he was one of the first to enlist and fought with distinction on the Western Front and following the war Max made 96 appearances for Manchester City as an amateur.

In the 1920 Olympics in Antwerp he won a gold medal in the men’s tennis doubles and a silver medal in the mixed doubles.

In 1921 he won the men’s doubles at Wimbledon and in the same year captained the British Davis Cup team in America.

It was while in America that Max was invited to have afternoon tea with Charlie Chaplin.

Having soundly beaten the Hollywood star on the tennis court Max went on to thrash Charlie at table tennis and then to rub salt into the wound he beat him again using a butter knife as a bat!

Max, captained Sandiway in 1929 at the age of 37 and also held the course record at that time.

Sandiway captain Frank Harding said: “Sandiway is a traditional club which proudly displays a portrait of Her Majesty the Queen and a letter from Her Majesty will be displayed alongside her portrait.

“We have a very busy programme of competitions and events in 2020 which begin in April and continue until the end of August.”