Tony Blok

Tony BlokTony Blok, the founder of the Corfu Croquet Club, has been a great fan of croquet for a very long time.
Tony discovered croquet as a young man when he first moved to London to study. He started playing in a small club in an obscure and out of the way part of London. When he first married and got a house, family took precedence so his trips to the club would have to wait.
A little over ten years later, the family moved and they ended up in leafy suburban Wandsworth in south London. One of the benefits of the move was he now had an enormous garden and it was not long before Tony had set up hoops in the garden and taught his three children to play. As the children grew up, another important element of the game was added, Pimms. By the jug load. It was always suspected that he used Pimms as a tactic to hobble his opponents and give him an unfair advantage.
A couple of miles away was the Hurlingham club, which offered croquet, amongst many other activities. Tony joined and became an integral part of the croquet committee as well as a very regular player. His time at the Hurlingham was significant. The lawns were exceptional, being maintained to a very high standard and the club played host to international tournaments meaning he got to watch and play with a wide range of very talented players. These two factors allowed Tony to really master his craft.
When he retired, Tony moved to Corfu and brought his passion with him. The fact that there were no croquet clubs in Corfu didn’t bother him at all; he simply built his own. Tony put all of his time and energy into not only building the club and getting the lawns constructed to international competition standards, but also to finding players to join him. In the early years, several of the members joined in the running of the club and its organisation.
Annemiek Boon was instrumental in ensuring the first few tournaments were successful. She worked hard to make sure that the club continued to grow by encouraging new members and attracting players from the UK. Annemiek then handed over to Jan Harbers, who took over the responsibility of organising the next AC tournament to be held at the club. This tournament is now an annual event attracting players from all over the UK. Thank you Annemiek and Jan!
Sadly Tony passed away on Boxing Day 2012, but the club he worked so hard for continues, thanks to the efforts of the small but well established core of hard working members.
Because of Tony’s efforts, as well as introducing croquet to the island, Pimms can now be found in the Blue Bar café just opposite the club so the authentic croquet experience can now be properly enjoyed. Raise a glass to him next time you play.