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G.O.A.T #13: Qamar Zaman & Janet Morgan

Over the last month, we have given squash fans the chance to decide the greatest players in squash history as we looked over the achievements and legacies of some of the most recognisable names ever to take to a squash court.

The votes are now in and we will be announcing the results in descending order to when we reveal the official men’s and women’s GOAT.

20th PlaceDon Butcher & Sheila Macintosh
19th PlaceRoshan Khan & Sue Cogswell
18th PlaceAzam Khan & Anna Craven-Smith
17th PlaceAbdelfattah AbouTaleb & Sue King
16th PlaceAhmed Barada & Joyce Cave
15th PlaceF.D. Amr Bey & Silvia Huntsman
14th PlaceMahmoud Karim & Nancy Cave

In 13th place…

Qamar Zaman
Nationality: Pakistani
British Open Titles: 1
British Open Finals: 5
World Open Titles: 0
World Open Finals: 4

Qamar Zaman born in 1952 in Quetta, Pakistan, was one of the leading players in squash during the 1970s and 1980s.

From collecting torn squash balls to satisfying his hunger for the sport to actually making it to five British Open finals and four World Open title deciders, the story of Zaman is one of struggles behind an underprivileged individual chasing his dreams.

Zaman’s father was a coach at the Quetta Squash Complex – an ideal setting for the youngster to get involved with the sport. As a child, Zaman would often watch the officers play and jump in when they swamped the ripped balls with new ones. He would also tape up the torn balls before practising with them, with his mother also helping to stitch them up.

With time this hobby grew into a passion and he started to spend more and more time at the courts, before eventually making his professional debut in 1968, travelling to Peshawar for his maiden under-16 event.

Although he lost in the second round, he managed to win plenty of admirers as onlookers tipped him for success and six months later he lifted the National Junior Championships U18 trophy.

Zaman then decided to move abroad, registering for the 1973 British Amateur event for which he brought a new racket and shoes. He lost in the semi-finals but his investment, and the on-court show earned him not only respect but also several sponsorship deals and dozens of rackets. The following year he reached the semi-finals of the British Open before managing to win the Australian Amateur event.

He came back to England stronger, winning the British Open in 1975, stunning defending champion Geoff Hunt in the quarter-finals.

Zaman beat Hunt of Australia in the quarter-finals and went onto win the title beating his fellow Pakistani player Gogi Alauddin in the final 9-7, 9-6, 9-1 to claim the biggest title of his career.

Following his return home, he was greeted by a huge crowd at the airport to welcome him but couldn’t see his father.

Zaman said: “I was then told that he was standing right at the back.

“I was furious after hearing that and lashed out at the officials and was told he wanted to stand at the back himself.

“Later, as I hugged him, I asked him why he wasn’t at the front. With tears in his eyes, he said he wanted to savour each and every moment of me being treated as hero and had he stood at the front, he would’ve missed all that.”

The Pakistani went onto reach the British Open final on four further occasions but was unable to replicate his stunning victory.

He was runner-up to Hunt in 1978, 1979 and 1980 and to the iconic Jahangir Khan in 1984. He was also runner-up at the World Open four times, losing to Hunt in the finals of the 1976, 1979 and 1980 and to Jahangir in 1984 but he did help to ensure that Pakistan’s fading supremacy since the days of Roshan Khan and Hashim Khan were reignited.

Janet Morgan
Nationality: English
British Open Title Wins: 10
British Open Final Defeats: 2

England’s Janet Morgan was squash’s leading women’s player in the sport during the 1950s as she dominated the British Open.

Morgan won the British Open on ten consecutive occasions and was the sport’s most famous female player until the rise of Australian icon Heather McKay in the 1960s.

Born in Wandsworth, London, Morgan was originally a tennis player who played for Britain in the Wightman Cup in 1946. She quickly turned to squash and in 1948 and 1949 was a losing finalist against Joan Curry in the prestigious British Open.

In 1950, she got her revenge however, as she won her first British Open title, beating Curry in the final. She went on to dominate at the tournament, winning the trophy for the next ten successive years through to 1959.

Before the 1959 British Open Morgan announced that she would retire after the competition due to medical advice because she had suffered from persistent back injuries.

Following her tenth and final victory and retirement she was awarded an MBE in 1961, became the first chairwoman of the Women’s Squash Association and was also inducted into the Squash Hall of Fame.

Morgan also competed as a tennis player in the Wimbledon Championships from 1946 until 1957. In the singles event her best result was reaching the third round on four occasions (1946, 1947, 1954 and 1955).

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