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  Sir Henry Cotton Masters Trophy  
Research By: Gerard Devaney

Golfing enthusiasts will be no stranger to the story of champion golfer Henry Cotton. What many will be surprised to hear is that the three times British open winner and Ryder Cup British Team captain is a local boy.

Sir Thomas Henry Cotton KCMG MBE was born in Church Hulme, (which was the early name for the Holmes Chapel district) on the 26th of January 1907.

He was born to master horticultural engineer George Cotton and his wife, Alice. The family lived on what is now Macclesfield Road, Holmes Chapel, on the site which now houses the FADS wallpaper factory.

Sir Henry’s father encouraged him to play golf from a young age. He attended Alleyns School in Dulwich South London and from the age of 13, played golf at the Aquarius 9 hole golf club in nearby Honer Oak. It is still a 9 hole golf course today.

Sir Henry turned professional in 1924 at the age of 17 and became assistant teaching professional at Fulwell Golf Club in Middlesex.

Image source: Wikipedia

His achievements included winning the British Open in 1934, 1937, and 1948. He was also involved in four Ryder cup matches, captaining the British Team twice, in 1947 and in 1953.

As well as winning many other European tour championships, Sir Henry also had the honour of being inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1980. He was the first golfer to receive a knighthood in 1987, the next being Nick Faldo 22 years later.

During the Second World War, Sir Henry’s golfing career was put on hold as he served with the Royal Air Force.

Following Sir Henry’s retirement from golf in his 50s he became a successful architect of golf courses, including designing the Le Meridien Penina on the Algarve in Southern Portugal where he lived for many years with his wife Toots.

He sadly died on the 22nd of December 1987 at the age of 80 and is buried in Mexilhoeira a village close to Le Meridien Pennina.

Many of the clubs Sir Henry played throughout the world have honoured his memory in some way either through the naming of cups or displaying of memorabilia.

If Woodside Golf Club had been around 100 years ago a young Henry Cotton may well have played some of his golf here. We at Woodside Golf are proud to help bring Sir Henry’s memory home, not only by displaying photographs and a copy of the birth certificate of our local golfing hero, but also by renaming the masters cup the Sir Thomas Henry Cotton Masters Trophy.

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