Rackets is commonly held to be the fastest of all ball games. It was first played against the walls of the London prisons, spreading to the taverns where it was played in the open air against a single front wall.
During the 19th century, the game was taken up by public schoolboys and young “bloods” and began to be played on enclosed courts. Subsequently, rackets clubs were built in a number of towns and cities. Manchester was no exception. But MTRC remains the sole surviving club of this kind in England other than the Queen’s Club in West Kensington.
When the Club was originally built in Miller Street in 1876, it contained two rackets courts but no tennis court; and it was known, unsurprisingly, as The Manchester Racquet Club.
But when the Club opened at its present site in 1882, it incorporated only one rackets court. Importantly, however, a tennis court was added to the facilities. The present rackets court has remained continuously in play since that time, and is regarded as providing a fast, true and fair test of rackets.