Many of you will be unaware of The Plains Squash Club at the junction of Plains Road and Gedling Road. The club was demolished about 20 years ago and was replaced by the Mapperley Heights apartment block.
The Plains Squash Club was a modern two-storey detached building with a flat roof. It was built in the 1960s and owned by Nottingham Panthers ice-hockey legend Chick Zamick. The squash club expanded in the 1970s when more courts were added. Brian Clough, the Nottingham Forest manager would regularly play squash there in the 1970s and 80s.
Despite its significance, there doesn’t seem to be much recorded about it and no photos exist (online at least), until now, thanks to John Smith the editor of NottsLit blog on Nottingham’s literature heritage.
Victor Zamick (16 August 1926 – 8 October 2007), better known as Chick Zamick, was a Canadian ice hockey player and coach best known for his success as a player at the Nottingham Panthers. He is a member of the British Ice Hockey Hall of Fame and the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame.
Zamick was born in Winnipeg, one of 10 surviving children (of 13). He got the family nickname ‘Chick’ in reference to the 10 pieces of chewing gum in a Chiclets brand. He played ice-hockey from the age of 15 and served in the Canadian Army. Many Canadian servicemen had settled in the Nottingham area and Chick was invited to join the recently formed Nottingham Panthers in 1947.
In the 11 seasons with them, he was the top point scorer in every season, and remarkably only failed to score above 100 points twice. His best season came in 1954-55 when he scored 169 points in 62 games. During the 1955-56 season he coached the Panthers to the Autumn Cup, Ahearne Cup and league treble.
Zamick left Nottingham in 1958 to take up a three-year coaching position in Geneva, Switzerland. After returning to the United Kingdom he spent time playing for the Altrincham Aces and Wembley Lions.
On his retirement from ice-hockey, Chick Zamick opened several businesses in Nottingham including a dry cleaners on Alfreton Road, and the Plains Squash Club on Mapperley Plains
Zamick moved to London and died at the age of 81 in 2007.
In 2005, a plaque was unveiled at the National Ice Centre commemorating his achievements.
In February 2005 the Plains Squash was closed and the building demolished.
We were contacted by Anthony Goodman who told us:
I played squash in the leagues there for a number of years. In fact it was Chick who shown me the game. Terry Goodman who lived across the road (no relation what so ever!) used to be a real card, especially when it was a case of booking a court! Later on it also became a keep fit unit. I’m still owed money from Terry when Nottingham Forest got relegated from the Premiership, as I gave 5-1 for Forest getting promotion within 5 years. It took 23 years and I’ve still not been paid. Happy days.
We would like to hear from anyone with memories or photographs of The Plains Squash Club.