BETTY UBER

Written by Geoff Hinder

Betty Uber, who dominated Women’s badminton in the 1930s and won a total of 13 All England Championship titles.

Click on images to enlarge.

Betty Uber playing woman’s singles at the All-England Badminton Championships held at the Royal Horticultural Hall, Vincent Square, London. The Championships were held at this venue from 1910 to 1939 a total of 25 years.

 

Betty started her All England success in 1930 with the first of three consecutive mixed titles with her husband Herbert. They would be the first married couple to win an All-England Mixed Doubles title.

The image on the left is of the 1930 All-England Mixed Doubles final. Herbert and Betty Uber (right) playing against B Cook and Miss C. Patten. Sir George Thomas is umpiring the match.

 

In 1933 she changed her mixed partner to Donald Hume; they would win the next four consecutive titles. Then with Bill White in 1938 she won her eighth and final Mixed Doubles title.

 

 

On the left Donald Hume and Betty Uber.

 

1933 All-England Mixed Doubles Final, Donald Hume and Betty Uber (Left) v Willoughby Hamilton (Ireland) and Marion Horsley (England). Hume and Uber won 18-15, 15-8.

 

Out of the 13 All-England titles Betty Uber won in her career, she only managed to win one woman’s singles title, that was in 1935 against Alice Teague.

 

 

Betty Uber and Alice Teague before the 1935 All-England Woman’s Singles final.

The 1950 England team against Scotland 

                           The Uber Cup

Betty Uber and Diana Doveton who won the Women’s Doubles All-England titles in 1937 and 1938.

In 1949, at the age of 44, Betty did something quite remarkable. Playing with Queenie Allen, she won her 13th and final All England title. No mean feat as their opponents that day were Tonny Ahm and Kirsten Thorndahl from Denmark, themselves multiple winners of the All-England Championships.

It wasn’t just at the All England she enjoyed success. She dominated international badminton, winning 14 Scottish Open titles, 12 Irish Open, 8 Welsh titles, 3 South African and 2 French Open titles.

Betty Uber’s incredible England International badminton record.

She represented England in official international fixtures on 37 occasions over a period of 25 years, from 1926 to 1951. During that period, she achieved the seemingly impossible record of winning every one of her first 51 international matches in which she played. Even more incredible is that in one of those matches, a Mixed Doubles fixture against Denmark, she actually served and won 30 consecutive points to emerge victorious – neither her opponent nor her partner served at all! In fairness, it must be stressed that the Danes were not then nearly such good players as they subsequently became. But the record stands.

The Badminton Association of England presented her with a trophy for her England international achievements.

 

 

In 1956, Betty presented the Uber Cup (World Women’s Team Championship) to the International Badminton Federation, now the Badminton World Federation (BWF). The trophy was made to her own design and specifications and is played for every two years.

Presentation of Uber Cup

Presentation in 1956 by Mrs Betty Uber of Uber Cup for International Competition for Ladies’ Teams.

 Left to right – Mr J. Plunkettt-Dillon (Ireland), President of the International Badminton Federation, Brig. R. Bruce Hay, DSO, (England), President Elect of IBF, Mrs H. S. Uber (England).

 

The first Uber Cup Final was played at Lytham St Anne’s, Lancashire, England on 18th March 1957. The United States of America beat Denmark 6-1.

                                    Betty Uber presents the Uber Cup to Margaret Varner, the American captain.

American winning team, standing: Miss E. Marshall, Mrs C. Davidson, Miss B. Massmann, Mrs J.C. Alston, Seated: Miss S. Devlin, Miss M. Varner (captain) and Miss J. Devlin.

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