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All England Lawn Tennis Aeltc Gate

Established in 1868, the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (AELTC) is a private members club that organises and hosts the annual Wimbledon Tennis Championships.

Becoming a member of this exclusive club is very difficult and membership numbers are strictly limited. So how can you become a member?

What is the AELTC?

The AELTC is a private members tennis club. Established 153 years ago in 1868, the AELTC is responsible for the upkeep and operation of the Wimbledon Grounds.

Since 1877, the Club Grounds have been the venue for the annual Wimbledon Tennis Championships.

Located on Church Road, Wimbledon, London, the Club is also known as the ‘All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club’ and the ‘All England Club’.

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What is the 'All England Lawn Tennis Club' (AELTC)?

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How do I become a member of the AELTC?

The AELTC has a membership cap of 500 Full, Life and Honorary Members. There is also a sub-cap of 375 Full and Life members.

Membership is mostly composed of individuals who have made a distinguished or exceptional service to the game.

Becoming a member of this exclusive club is very difficult and membership numbers are strictly limited. Arguably, the easiest way to become a member is to win the Men’s or Ladies’ Singles Championship.

Members almost never resign so opportunities for membership only really open up when a member dies. With the exception of Honorary Members, you will also need to be a British Citizen to join the AELTC.

The following are AELTC membership categories:

Full Members

To become a Full Member, you will need to:

  • Be proposed and seconded by four current Full Members - two of whom must have known you for three years or more.
  • The four members will need to write formal letters of support for your application.
  • Your name will be added to a list of candidates.

The AELTC will then decide which candidates on the waiting list most merit Full Membership.

Even if you meet all of the above criteria, there are estimated to be over 1,000 applicants on the list.

There are currently around 350 Full Members, including the Governor of Bank of England, Mervyn King, and singer Cliff Richard.

Life Members

Life Members are selected by the AELTC Committee. Life membership of the Club never expires. Life members include Romanian professional tennis player Simona Halep.

Honorary Members

Honorary Members are elected periodically by the AELTC Committee.

Honorary Members, most of whom are previous Wimbledon Tournament winners, include Tim Henman OBE who also sits on The Board. All champions are invited to be Honorary Members.

Patron of the AELTC, the Duchess of Cambridge, is also an Honorary member.

Other Honorary Members include benefactors of the AELTC.

There are around 70 honorary members.

Temporary and Junior Members.

Temporary and Junior Members are mostly young tennis players, who play regular matches against other clubs.

As active players, most Temporary and Junior Members make regular use of the facilities and play in matches during their period of Membership.

There are around 100 Temporary Members who are elected each year. Temporary membership must be renewed annually.

What are the perks of membership?

Although the AELTC is a ‘normal’ tennis club, it is one of the most prestigious tennis clubs in the world.

Many of the Club’s members are active tennis players who are entitled to use the Club's facilities, including the grass courts, gyms, and locker rooms appointed with luxurious marble baths.

Even members cannot enjoy the thrill of playing on Centre Court, however, as it is used exclusively for the two weeks during the Wimbledon Championships.

AELTC members are also entitled to purchase two tickets for each day of the Championships. This is one reason why membership numbers are so limited as, otherwise, the Championships would be a members only event.

Full and Life members have full privileges; entitling them to a dedicated seat on Centre Court for the duration of the Championships.

Wimbledon debentures

The next best thing to Full Membership is to be a debenture holder.

Wimbledon debentures are issued every five years and give debenture holders an allocation of Wimbledon debenture tickets for every day of The Championships, for a five year period.

Debentures are issued for Centre Court and No.1 Court. Both debentures offer seats with unrivalled views of the action. Seats on Centre Court are on the same tier as the Royal Box.

Money raised through the sale of debentures helps fund the development and upkeep of the Wimbledon Grounds.

Debenture tickets also entitle the holder to access the exclusive debenture holder restaurants, bars and lounges.

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