A MUCH-loved tennis player and referee has died suddenly at the age of 57.

Born on November 5, 1963, Roger Witt, from Salisbury, had been a stalwart of the city's tennis community for more than 30 years.

Since his sudden death on August 25, tennis clubs from across the area have been sharing tributes, praising his "immense contribution" to the sport.

He had been club secretary of Salisbury Tennis Club for more than 25 years.


Roger met his wife Jacky in 1992. They married in the year 2000.

They had a dog, a schnoodle named Fedi - after Roger Federer, a favourite tennis player for them both.

Known for his dry sense of humour and compassion, Roger will be missed by his brother, David, his auntie and uncle Ruth and Don, sister-in-law Katherine and parents-in-law George and Jeanette English.

Paying tribute to her husband, Jacky said: "There are no words to describe this loss. You are my soul mate, my loving husband.

"The tennis world will miss you sorely after all the hard work you have done over the last 30 years. Your legacy will continue I promise."


Salisbury Journal: Roger Witt

Roger had a "huge passion for providing tennis for all in the local area", and took up refereeing after accompanying Jacky on trips with six-eight juniors in Ivybridge, Exeter and Hastings from 1993.

Described as an "exceptional referee", he was always "firm but fair", and had great communication with both juniors and adults.

He was also Salisbury Tennis Club Secretary for 25 years, including overseeing the addition of the clay courts and new clubhouse, and played football in Salisbury including Bemerton Heath.

He also played cricket locally until focusing on tennis in 1994.

He was a member of Riverside Tennis club from 1979 to 1988, Downton Tennis Club from 1986 to 1987, and Salisbury Tennis Club from 1988 onwards.

Among his list of achievements is being recognised in the Salisbury Journal Sports Awards in 2000.

Salisbury Tennis Club held a minute's silence at this week's annual general meeting to remember Roger and many tributes were held to him.

Club Secretary Trina Smith said: "Our Club is a better place for Roger having been a member. We must never forget that he just wanted people to be able to play tennis - whatever their ability.

"He was passionate that tennis should be affordable and accessible to all and most importantly, fun."

Club chairman Stephen Berry added: “Roger joined the Club in 1988  and gave 33 years of service; as a committee member (of which  20 years as Hon Sec). referee, team player and organiser of the Floodlight League.

"He played over 1,000 matches for the Club. In his 100th the Club became champions of the Hants & IoW Summer Men’s Doubles Premier League for the first time in its 126 year history, beating Winchester at Winchester. He will be hugely missed.”

The club has also confirmed that it is starting a collection in Roger's name which will go towards a memorial garden, a defibrillator and the Dogs Trust.

Anyone requiring further details can contact the club.

Colin Jäger, Chairman of Wellow Tennis Club, added: "Roger's immense contribution as a figurehead within our local tennis community is something that will live long in memories across the generations within that community.

"In addition to the personal loss, the loss to the Sarum League and the local tennis world will be considerable."

Roger was also a dog lover, and a big fan of Star Wars, Elvis Presley and Paul Weller.

He loved gardening and vinyl records, and had started collecting various types of music from the 1950’s onwards.

Roger Witt: 5/11/1963-25/08/2021

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