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Who is Sue Barker's husband, Lance Tankard? Wimbledon presenter retires

Joshua Rogers July 11, 2022
sue barker husband lance tankard is she still married
Photo by Steve Parsons/WPA Pool/Getty Images

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Who is Sue Barker’s husband, Lance Tankard? The BBC presenter, who has become as much of a Wimbledon staple as strawberries and cream, announced her retirement on Sunday. Here’s more on her marriage to Lance.

Sue Barker has been part of the BBC’s Wimbledon coverage since 1993. Sue was born on 19 April 1956 in Paignton, Devon, and picked up a tennis racquet for the first time aged ten.

Her career highlight came at the 1976 French Open, which she won. It is the 65-year-old’s only Grand Slam win.

Sue went on to win 11 WTA Tour singles titles and reached number three in the world.

14 Jun 1976: English Tennis player Sue Barker on her way to victory in the French Championships. She beat Russian Renata Tomanova in three sets. Mandatory Credit: Allsport Hulton/Archive

Who is Sue Barker’s husband? Is she still married?

In 1988, Sue married landscape gardener and former policeman Lance Tankard. The couple originally met in Portugal, where Lance was on holiday and Sue was working as a tennis coach.

Once they returned to England, the two incidentally met each other while out for dinner as their kitchens were getting redone.

Not long after, their relationship turned romantic.

Since tying the knot in 1988, Sue Barker and her husband Lance have been living happily together.

“We spend hours in the garden together. We’ve got 26 acres, lovely views, three dogs and all sorts of wildlife. I’m settled. I’d never have thought it,” Barker told British journalist Nina Myskow in June 1999.

Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Her relationships before marrying Lance

Before marrying Lance, Sue was engaged to Australian tennis player Syd Ball. However, they broke the engagement off in 1978.

In 1982, Barker dated Sir Cliff Richard, making them one of the most high-profile couples in Britain at the time. However, they separated in 1986.

“We were closer than just friends. She’s the only person with whom I’ve had that sort of relationship,” Richard told the Evening Times in November 1988.

In 2008, Richard also stated he was seriously thinking about getting married to her. However, they still remain good friends to this day.

Photo by Monitor Picture Library/Photoshot/Getty Images

2022 was Sue Barker’s last Wimbledon

Sadly, this year was Sue’s last year covering Wimbledon as she’s decided to call time on her BBC career. She announced her retirement on Sunday, 10 July.

Former colleague John McEnroe paid tribute to Barker’s career, saying: “It’s time to say goodbye and farewell to the wonderful Susan Barker; [it’s] no easy job, I’ll tell you that. You see the thing about our Sue, she just is Wimbledon.”

“What a wonderful time I’ve had working on some of the biggest sporting events around the world,” Barker said.

“Basically, I just feel the time is right. It has been my dream job and I have loved every minute of it working with so many great colleagues who I am going to miss so much,” she told the Daily Mail.

“I’m very happy to be leaving with no regrets and on my own terms while I am still on top of the job. It just feels like the right time to go and leave it to others.”

What is your favourite memory of Sue? Let us know in the comments below!

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Joshua is a senior sports writer with over four years' experience in online writing. He graduated with a BA in Ancient History from The University of Manchester before receiving an MA in Sports Journalism from The University of Central Lancashire. He became a trending writer for a leading social publisher and later spent time covering the 2018 World Cup for The Mirror Online. He then moved to a social marketing agency where he acted as website editor. His specialties on The Focus include F1, tennis, NBA, NFL and combat sports.