11/07/04 — Tennis courts to be named after Farfour

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Tennis courts to be named after Farfour

By Barbara Arntsen
Published in News on November 7, 2004 2:08 AM

A year-long quest to honor the achievements of John Allen Farfour will come to fruition on Nov. 21 when the tennis courts at Herman Park are named after him.

In October 2003, the Goldsboro Tennis Association sent a letter to the city requesting that the refurbished tennis courts at Herman Park be named after John Allen Farfour, also known as "Mr. Tennis" throughout the state.

The council supported the idea, but was stopped because of a city policy that prohibited the council from naming city property after someone who is still alive.

For some months the council tried to think of other ways to honor Farfour, but in the end the council simply changed its policy.

The city's Recreation and Parks Commission then approved an application with more than 60 names, asking that the courts be named after Farfour.

Farfour played tennis at Goldsboro High School before graduating in 1935. After attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Farfour founded the Eastern Carolina Junior Open in 1947.

In 1954, he played in a doubles exhibition match with Althea Gibson in Goldsboro. She was the first black tennis player to win the Wimbledon Lawn and Tennis Championship.

Farfour was inducted into the North Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame in 1979 and was inducted into the Goldsboro City Schools Sports Hall of Fame in 1989.

He attended UNC-Chapel Hill where he lettered in varsity tennis. For 21 years he was Goldsboro city tennis champion and won numerous East Carolina Tennis Association championships in singles, doubles and mixed doubles.

While in the Air Force during World War II he won major championships in Wyoming, New Mexico and Texas.

In 1947, Farfour was a founding member of the Wayne County Boys Club, and he served on its board of directors for more than 50 years. In 1947 he founded the East Carolina Junior Tennis Open that for 56 years has brought tennis to Goldsboro youths from ages 10 to 18. For almost all of that period, Farfour provided the leadership to run the tournament.

The court-naming ceremony is scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 21, at Herman Park. Friends of Farfour have raised enough money to buy the marker, as well as two signs that will be hung on either end of the fence surrounding the courts.