A keen rackets player, he was a member with Gem of the Bath Row Racquets Club in Lee Bank, a short walk from his house at 8 Ampton Road, Edgbaston. It was on the croquet lawn of this house that Perera and Gem were to develop a game that combined elements of both rackets and the Spanish game of pelota between 1859 and 1865, naming it Lawn rackets, Lawn pelota or, eventually, Lawn tennis.
In 1872 Perera and Gem moved to Leamington Spa and established a club to play their new game on the lawns of the Manor House Hotel, opposite Perera's new home in Avenue Road. Perera left Leamington three years after Gem's death in 1881 and his life after this date is unknown.
It is now known that Gem and Perera had established an organized tennis club prior to this date, however, and had been playing the game privately for a decade or more.
In addition, much less is known about Perera than his friend and fellow tennis pioneer Harry Gem, whose life is well documented as a prominent figure in several walks of Birmingham society. In a letter to The Field in November 1874, however, Gem himself largely credited Perera with the development of the game.
A Londoner Who Keeps His Heart in Birmingham; the Bigger Picture A Bath Spa University Psychologist Recently Made Headlines Resurrecting the Myth That a Birmingham Accent Can Be Equated with Stupidity. Former Londoner Ross Reyburn Details Just How Wide of the Mark Common Perceptions Are of the City He Moved to in 1974
May 14, 2008; Byline: Ross Reyburn Should you wish to surprise a Londoner, just tell him the game of lawn tennis was created in Birmingham. To...