This week, we take a sporting look at a famous golfing legend who started life in Holmes Chapel (then referred to as Church Hulme).

Thomas Henry Cotton, known as Henry, was born on January 26, 1907, in Holmes Chapel.

His parents were George and Alice Cotton, George being a local boy from Hassall near Sandbach and later Middlewich, and then Middlewich Road, Holmes Chapel, and Alice, from Guernsey in the Channel Islands.

By 1911, the family had moved from Holmes Chapel to Guernsey as their address was Old Golf Place, L’Ancresse, perhaps an indication for Henry of what his life might hold.

The family must then have moved to London as Henry attended Alleyn’s school in Dulwich, and his initial sporting interest was cricket.

Northwich Guardian: Middlewich Road, Holmes Chapel, in 1910Middlewich Road, Holmes Chapel, in 1910 (Image: Rose Hurley)

Unfortunately, this was to be his downfall as one day; he was told by prefects to take all the cricket kit from a match back to the school by public transport.

Henry and other pupils did this, but Henry wrote to the headmaster to express his unhappiness with the task.

The headmaster decided that he should have the cane for complaining, so Henry left the school under a cloud, refusing his punishment.

With considerable encouragement from his father, Henry went to Fulwell Golf Club, where he did all the menial tasks in order to get himself known and to pursue his vocation.

Northwich Guardian: Henry Cotton with the Claret JugHenry Cotton with the Claret Jug (Image: Rose Hurley)

At 19, he was taken on at Langley Park, where he became the youngest head professional at that time.

Henry and his brother Leslie were both professional golfers and were coached by John Henry Taylor, himself a superb golfer being a member of the 'Great Triumvirate' made up of himself, Harry Vardon, and James Braid.

Between 1894 and 1914, the three golfers won the British Open Championship 16 times, John having won in 1894, 1895, 1900, 1909, and 1913.

Henry worked diligently during the 1920s to improve his game, and by the 1930s, he had perfected it.

Northwich Guardian: Henry Cotton in actionHenry Cotton in action (Image: Rose Hurley)

Henry’s fame was established after he won the Open Championship three times: 1934, 1937, and 1948. The 1934 win ended a decade-long run of American victories.

Following the 1934 success with a record round of 65, the Dunlop golf company issued a special ‘Dunlop-65’ ball.

Henry also won 11 championships across Europe and represented Great Britain in the Ryder Cup four times, being captain of the team in 1947 and 1953.

Northwich Guardian: Henry's coach John Henry TaylorHenry's coach John Henry Taylor (Image: Rose Hurley)

In the 1930s, Henry gave golf lessons to Senora Isabel-Maria Estanguet de Moss (known as 'Toots'), the daughter of a Buenos Aries Beef Baron, and he eventually married her in December 1939 in Westminster, where they were living at that time.

They made a formidable couple and were famous on the social set of the time. Henry was a compelling, intelligent, ambitious character who contributed hugely to elevating the status of professional golf in Great Britain.

During World War II, he served in the Royal Air Force and raised funds for the Red Cross by playing exhibition matches and shows, for which he received the MBE.

Northwich Guardian: Henry Cotton and wife 'Toots'Henry Cotton and wife 'Toots' (Image: Rose Hurley)

Henry retired from professional golf in the mid-1950s and took on several roles, including as an author of many golf books and as an architect of golf courses, including the Le Meridien Penina in Portugal.

He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1980. He lived a lavish lifestyle and eventually resided in Portugal, where his wife died on Christmas Day, 1982, and he died in 1988.

He was offered a Knighthood in 1988, which he accepted; however, he had died before it was announced in the 1989 New Year’s Honours List, and thus he was awarded it posthumously, and it was made effective from the date of his death December 22, 1988.

Young Henry from Holmes Chapel achieved fame and fortune, and made an indelible mark in the world of golf.