World Sports Hall of Fame 1949: Abdelfattah Amr Bey, Don Budge, Helene Mayer and Byron Nelson

Abdelfattah Amr Bey (Egypt -Squash) –  The first dominant player in squash with five consecutive wins in the British Open between 1932 and 1938 when it was played on a challenge basis, and six British Amateur titles.  He took the sport to a new level of speed and fitness. The winner of the British Amateur Championship every year from 1931 to 1937 apart from 1934 when he didn’t play.  In five of those finals vhe didn’t lose a game.  He retired as unbeaten Open champion in 1938.

Don Budge (USA -Tennis) – the first man to win the Grand Slam which he did in  1938 when virtually unbeatable.  In 1937 he won all three titles available to him at Wimbledon,  a feat he repeated the next year and which remains unequalled.  He won the US Open singles and mixed doubles in 1937.  In 1938 he won the Wimbledon title without dropping a set and won all three titles at the US Open.  He also won the French and Australian singles titles to complete the Grand Slam.  At the end of the year he turned pro and beat Fred Perry in his debut.  He won 19 of 21 Davis Cup singles matches.  After the war he continued to play at a high level.

Helene Mayer (Germany/ USA -Fencing) – the outstanding woman fencer of the early  twentieth century.  She won the Olympic foil title in 1928 aged 17.  She added world titles in 1929 and 1931 but illness meant she was only fifth in the 1932 Olympics.  She won the silver in 1936 and took her third individual world title in  1937.  She retired from international competition and became an American citizen, winning eight US titles.

Byron Nelson (USA – Golf) – the most prolific winner in golf of the late 1930s and 1940s.  He won the Masters in 1937 and 1942, the US Open in 1939 and the US PGA in 1940 and 1945.  It was in 1945 that he produced arguably the greatest single season in golf history.  He won 19 tournaments including eleven in succession and then virtually retired from golf.  Both of these still stand as records for a season.  His swing is considered the first of the modern style.

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