Stavros Panagopoulos has passed away, famous tennis champion, coach and founder of the Tennis Center in historic Marathon, Attica.
He leaves us a legacy of his morals, his love for children and young people, the essential personality of an athlete and visionary and the obligation to follow his teachings.

Profession: ball boy

Read here a Kathimerini tribute by Spyridoula Spaneas

Bright example…

Also a reference to his person from America's National Herald

Stavros Panagopoulos passed away last week,famous tennis champion, coach and founder of the Tennis Center in historic Marathon, Attica.
His death, in advanced age and failing health, it was undoubtedly a very painful loss for his family and his many friends. But it has something more general, this mournful event is of greater importance;
Let us all judge it together by recalling and briefly evaluating his life and personal path.
After the war and for decades Stavros Panagopoulos, together with Nikolaos Kalyvas, Ioannis Argyriou and Dimitris Kanellopoulos were the stars of Greek tennis either as active champions or as coaches at the famous Athens Tennis Club in the city center, next to the pillars of Olympian Zeus. Επιπλέον, Panagopoulos and Kanellopoulos offered Greek sports their own children, glamorous tennis champions, Denis Panagopoulou and Angeliki Kanellopoulou. The two then young girls, each one separately but also together as a group, they glorified the country internationally, while Angeliki is boasting today, along with all of Greece, her daughter, top international champion, Maria Sakkari. Last December, the newspaper "Kathimerini" reported extensively on the personality and work of Stavros Panagopoulos, paying a well-deserved tribute to this outstanding sports personality. But his special contribution as a champion was not the only element that made Stavros Panagopoulos an example for his countless friends and for Greek sports in general.
As a coach at the Tennis Club for decades, Stavros offered invaluable services to Greek tennis, having as his students a huge number of young people, among whom- than members of the then Royal family, current former Prime Ministers, political leaders, business and scientific world and of course later distinguished champions.
A prodigious athlete himself, gifted and excellent teacher he was especially loved and popular. Nevertheless, one day, it became known that this top coach decided to leave the prominent Athens Tennis Club and establish his own Tennis Center in Marathon, Attica. Many were surprised, then, with that decision, which appeared incomprehensible to those who did not immediately grasp his vision, his visionary dedication to a sport that at the time did not know its current global radiance and his determination to create within the orchards of historical, but unrelated to tennis, area a real nursery for young tennis players but also a decentralized oasis for those who love this wonderful sport. The sequel was a true miracle due solely to his overcoming and hard work but also to the dedication of Denis Panagopoulou's daughter the "Champion of my Heart", as many tennis players call her and his grandson, expectedly wonderful tennis player and current successor of Stavros' work. Over time, the Panagopoulos Tennis Center flourished. The humble beginnings of the protolean "hard" courts proliferated, were modernized into wonderful clay courts and its facilities became a welcoming space for individual as well as important collective sports activities. The center, which with the tireless efforts of its creator thus progressed and expanded in the following decades, loved by the countless families from all over Attica who send their children for individual and team sports, of the countless players who enjoy the freebie, modest but cordial sports atmosphere but also by the tennis federations who organize panhellenic sports championships for children and youth there.
Fame and recognition spread, and everyone's love kindled.
But Stavros Panagopoulos always remained the same. Simple, humble, thrifty, as the years passed, he was always there in a corner unobtrusively admiring the kids learning tennis or competing, reminiscing with his many loyal friends and envisioning his favorite sport. The story of Stavros and his sweet forever companion, of his wife "Ms. Ioanna" is not just a "success story". It is the story of a vision that came true for the benefit of Greek sports with the driving force of modesty, doric yet incredibly essential personality of an athlete and visionary who had the wonderful gift of inspiring with love, its quality and modesty. So it is our little debt to acknowledge with gratitude that Stavros Panagopoulos, the great but simple athlete, teacher and visionary, who just "left" us, is a bright example for all of us.
Along with our warmest feelings to his wonderful family, it is appropriate to express the wish that his example inspires and finds imitators for the good of our youth and Greek sports.

Thank you for everything – Nice trip