A nail-biting tennis tournament took place at the operational home of the Royal Navy in Portsmouth this month despite the ever-looming threat of rain.

The fundraising event, in which cash was raised for The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity and The Rowans Hospice, was organised by HMS Excellent-based worker Robert Haines, on Whale Island, Friday 7 March.

From left to right: Anthony Madgwick, Mark Saywell, Robert Haines and Andy Hall

Robert and colleagues Andy Hall, Anthony Madgwick and Mark Saywell, played through the drizzly conditions to stake their claim for the ‘Colin Manvell Bull Moose Trophy’ – so named after Colin was tragically killed after an accident involving an elephant when holidaying in Masinagudi National Park in 2013.

Robert, a close friend of Colin’s, decided that holding a tennis tournament in his name was one of the best tributes he could pay in memory of a dear friend. The two began playing against each other at The Avenue Lawn Tennis Club in Warblington some 15 years ago.

“Colin was a gentleman who was good at gauging the right banter to have with people of all ages and backgrounds,” Robert said.

“He was an important and regular part of my life. I miss him.”

After a nervy start, Andy Hall was beaten by Robert six games to two. Anthony Madgwick meanwhile triumphed over Mark Saywell putting him into the final.

Robert then overcame Anthony in the final with some good play – despite the persistent and worsening rain – eventually winning 6-0 despite the tough challenges posed by Anthony

Robert and the Bull Moose Trophy team managed to raise an impressive £635.50, which is to be split between the two nominated charities.

A cheque presentation with the RNRMC took place shortly after the match, when the weather was decidedly better than the team struggled with on the day.

Photo: Robert Haines cheque presentation with RNRMC regional fundraiser Hilary Jukes