Meet Danny Lee,
St George’s Music Man ...
both virtually and literally!!!
A lot of you may not know who Danny Lee is, but I have the feel
a lot of you actually do! But maybe you don’t know how
impressive his achievements are, and how diverse/interesting his
life is and has been for a while.
Let’s start by saying that he’s been playing squash for 44 years
now. His dad was a squash player himself, but little Danny just
loved all sports, tennis and football, and already at the age of
8, he was organising football tournaments to be able to play in
Originally from Reigate in Surrey, he got more and more into
squash around 14 years old, it was not that easy to find covered
tennis court to practice. We were arriving at the end of the
Squash Amateur Era.
A "challenge" from a Surrey squash coach told him he couldn’t
win the Surrey under 16. “Yes I can” he retorted, and after two
hard months of training, he only lost in the 5th in the final.
But it got me into the spirit.
“I got to practice a lot with Alison Cummings she became 3 in
the world, used to practice with her. I then got into the
England U19 squad then Team, was underdog in the British Junior,
beat Christie Willstrop in the Final of the British, that was an
big upset at the time!"
He smiles when he remembers the first World Junior Team in
Sweden: “I played in first World Juniors Team, in 1980, and the
hotel got on fire, the older hotel in Sweden apparently,
apparently the Irish Team had a lot to answer for, funny
story!!! But that’s where I met with Chris Dittmar, Stuart
Davenport for the first time…
More and More involved in Squash
then turned professional, went to south Africa, France, Germany,
played 5 world Open including Toulouse 1986. “Money was quite
nice on the ISPA Tour at the time!”
He went on playing for Cannons, probably the most famous Club in
London in those days... “I became the captain of the
Cannon’s Team, it was the first national league, we won it, and
the money paid for the deposit on my house! We had a great
Then, while he was in South Africa, he got a virus practicing
with Jansher, overdid it, then flew to Australi, and never
really recovered, a bit of a Peter Marshall trouble. It was
never diagnosed but it kept on coming and going..
Danny liked the promotion side of Squash. He organised the
Daily Mail Squash Jersey Open, in January 1988 (on
not 87 like it says on YouTube). "Funny fact, the final on was
January 7th, Ross Norman's birthday, he got the 4 first points,
Jahangir Khan got the next 27..."
The St George's Adventure...
"In April 89, I started working in George’s" he
remembers. "I started with a bit of coaching, while played for
the Tennis Team.
In the mid 90’s, I coached a bit of tennis as
well, until mid 2000's.
"Very proud that we managed some good improvement on the squash
side of things, coming from 4 hard courts to 3 glass backwall.
Also, the junior side of squash was non existent, and we put in
place a very strong junior program.
"We produced some really good squash players, Tom Richards – who
was playing with me from the age of 3 to the age of 18, Charles Sharpes, Alex Ingham, Stuart Hadden, Matthew Broadberry, Paul
Broadberrry, and also Joe and Charlie Lee, my two sons, most of
them have got their coaching badges and over the years, have
been helping me with our junior programs.
The St George's Team
For a few years, I had Ross Norman helping with the coaching,
then when he changed his professional activities, I asked Steve
Meads to help me out, and recently, we have Dominique Lloyd
Water that joined the team.
I’m very grateful to the club for organising a great team now,
not just for me of course! Celia, who is more precious and
efficient that words can describe, also a marketing person,
Joanna, Nikki, a squash/tennis assistant admin, both great help
and ladies, and myself!
A bit of this, a bit of
Danny loves doing different
things, and he is mighty good at it too. When his career slowed
down, he organised more and more events. He runs at the moment
the PSL (English League) team for St George's, and just signed
"We had the Legends of Squash three four years ago, that was a
great moment, and of course we run a PSL team, it’s hard work,
getting in touch with the players, trying to get the team
together, and the pressure of the fans wanting us to win all the
that's not enough now, is it. Of course, he finds sponsors to
organise great squash events in the Club.
"We are of course extremely grateful to
who is supporting us with Channel Vas, almost like the “New”
Ziad Al-Turki, loves playing squash, and like Ziad, loves
We are in a privilege position here, one sponsor helps us
putting up an event, and another sponsor comes along!
example, we are organising “England against the Rest
of the World” International on the 24th October. It’s a one
off Sponsor from Weybridge, AB INITIO, that is supporting
the event. So far we have Nick Matthew, James Willstrop,
Daryl Selby, and Laura Massaro. For the rest of the world,
Mohamed Elshorbagy, Paul Coll, Cameron Pilley and we are
looking for another lady – most of the girls will be in Saudi."
More Flexible Flooring
Something very important for Danny, court flooring.
"The depth of the game today is quite incredible" he says.
"The power, fitness and strength today is second to none. And to
be able to sustain it as well. That's why we are running a
campaign to make sure that all floors are well sprung – Joey
Barrington is a great supporter.
Even on the old glass courts, some are better sprung than
others. And when I get time, I’ll be probably designing my own
floors.. One of the problems is that sometimes, the
manufacturers make is strong and not flexible. You can’t go too
flexible of course. It’s all in the balance. St George’s
re-sprung all the floors.
When I play golf with my old friends from Reigate, where the
courts were much harder, they are in the 60s and 70s. They all
gave up squash in the forties, whereas we have many many people
here playing way into their 70s and even in their 80s. I have
been playing for 44 years, and I’m still playing, and I still
"Are you happy Danny"?
I’m a happy man, although I would like my daughter Anne-Rose to
be in the country a bit more, but I want her to be happy" he
"She just turned 21. He lives half her time in Rio, speaks
fluent Portuguese and Spanish, and
she started a Squash Charity called Squashinhos.
"With the help of her boyfriend Rony, she teaches English and
Squash to underprivileged kids in Rio.
She always was a good
squash player and she’s been asked to play for Surrey this year.
She is working very hard here to be able to run her charity in
Rio, and I'm very proud of her.."
"Now, players have got a complete love/hate relationship with
squash. So many times, I play and I’m thinking I wish it was
golf! Physical training is the hardest in the world.
extremely hard and physical. And we made it physically harder
because we were not that technical. Music is a big part of my life.As I get older I want to work very hard in patches and then
go away a bit more, make the most of other places…
"Why I organise events? It’s really about promoting the game of
squash. Also helping our juniors like Tom Richards, Joe Lee,
Charlie Lee, Charles Sharpes, Matthew Broadberry to get ranking
points of course.
It’s great to offer the up and coming players
an international tournament on their doorstep instead of having
to go to Australia!!
"Diversity is the key: playing a bit of squash coaching, my
music, coaching top players, a bit of promotion..."
It's all about diversity for Danny and it's working pretty well
Oh, and Just take a few minutes to
listen to his
music as well, I personally love it...