The First Player to Wear Shorts at the All-England

Written by Geoff Hinder

The First Player to Wear Shorts at the All-England

Raymond ‘Bill’ White was the first player to play at the All-England Badminton Championships wearing shorts. He was also the first player to fly 70 miles to a badminton tournament. It was also reported he was the only one ever to report to the tournament referee still in his dinner jacket.
Bill would win two All-England men’s singles titles in 1933 and 1935. With his doubles partner Donald Hume, they would win four consecutive men’s doubles titles from 1932 to 1935, winning the trophy outright in 1934. He would win one All-England mixed doubles title with Betty Uber in 1938.
 Bill between 1929 and 1939 won 24 international caps for England and was part of the English touring team that visited Canada in 1930.
 He joined the Liverpool fire service in the Blitz and became Chief Fire Officer.



Bill White and Ralph Nichols were great rivals in the 1930s.

Click on images to enlarge

Frank Devlin (far end) playing against Bill White in a England v Ireland international match during the 1931 All-England Badminton Championships at the Horticultural Hall, London.


1932 All-England Championships Bill White far end playing in the 3rd round of the men’s singles playing against his doubles partner Donald Hume. Bill would win 15-8, 14-15, 15-9. and go on to reach the final, only to be beaten by Ralph Nichols.
For more information on the history of the All-England Badminton Championships – Click Here.
Leading players of the 1920s and 1930s. Standing-L. to R. Raymond ‘Bill’ White, Gordon ‘Curly’ Mack, Marion Horsley, Ralph Nichols, Donald Hume. Sitting-L. to R. Frank Devlin, Marjorie Barrett, Betty Uber.
2025 Yonex All-England Badminton Championships
Tuesday 11 March 2025 to Sunday 16 March 2025.
At the Utilita Arena, Birmingham.


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