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Town Pay Tribute to Elena Baltacha
Monday, 5th May 2014 15:32

Town have paid tribute to locally-based tennis star Elena Baltacha, who died of liver cancer on Sunday, aged 30.

Baltacha, the daughter of former Blue Sergei, was diagnosed with the illness in January, having retired from tennis two months previously.

“Elena was the guest of the club for our game against Barnsley in November and was also at the club recently wearing a Town shirt and showing off her football skills for a TV programme," Town’s media manager Steve Pearce told the club site.

"We were working with her on ways to promote her Academy of Tennis, which helps local children from disadvantaged areas learn to play the game and she was known to a lot of staff at the football club.

"Everyone at Portman Road sends deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Elena at this incredibly sad time.”

During her career, Baltacha won 11 singles tournaments and was in Britain's Fed Cup team for 11 years, despite being diagnosed with primary sclerosing cholangitis, a chronic liver condition, aged 19. She reached the third round at Wimbledon in 2002 and made it to the third round of the Australian Open in 2005 and 2010.

On Sunday 15th June, Andy Murray, Martina Navratilova and Tim Henman will take part in exhibition matches at three tournaments as part of British Tennis’s Rally For Bally.

Funds raised will be split between The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity and The Elena Baltacha Academy of Tennis. For more details and to make donations, visit the Rally for Bally Just Giving page.

Photo: Action Images

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itfcserbia added 16:06 - May 5
I haven't felt this sad since great Sir Bobby passed... Rest in peace Elena, your name and image will be long remembered.

Luka added 16:23 - May 5
If only Town had have made it to the playoffs, would have been a great way to pay tribute to her. RIP Elena

Cloddyseedbed added 16:35 - May 5
I was unaware that she had been struggling with health issue's since the age of 19 years old, that makes her achievements even more remarkable. Sincere condolences to her family and friends. RIP Elena.

blueboy1981 added 16:41 - May 5
Very sad news indeed - Elena was a great ambassador for Tennis in this country.

R.I.P ELENA. Every sincere condolensce to Family and Friends.

jas0999 added 16:48 - May 5
This is so very sad. Condolences to her family. Just puts things into perspective.

Bluetone added 16:51 - May 5
Sad,sad news my condolences to Elena's family.

Rest in Peace Elena.

rfretwell added 16:53 - May 5
This is so sad, my sincere condolences go out to all Elena's family. And what a huge loss to British tennis and tennis in Suffolk too. As an LTA coach myself it was brilliant to meet her bat the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton last autumn. She had brought a coachload of tennis youngsters and parents there from her Ipswich Academy - that gesture was a fantastic inspiration for them all and it would be a fitting tribute if one of them goes on to make it big in tennis. I am sure husband Nick Severino will carry on the good work. Lets raise lots of money to help him.

Superfrans added 17:17 - May 5
This is terrible news. 30 is no age at all - it's unbelievable to think she was still playing pro tennis just six months ago. Such a sad loss, to her family,friends and the wider Ipswich/Suffolk sporting family. Personally, I'd love to see the club make some lasting tribute to her.

oscarwhiting added 17:45 - May 5
So sad…

I think we should at least re name a stand after her.

Surco72 added 18:25 - May 5
So very sad at such a young age .
As Jas0999 highlights really does put life into perspective

Lightningboy added 18:42 - May 5
Always a fighter..such sad news.

RIP Elena x.

poggie added 18:47 - May 5
So very sad. Far too young to be gone. R.I.P Elena. Thoughts and condolences to her family x

Tufty added 19:19 - May 5
God bless

Dissboyitfc added 19:19 - May 5
So very sad, i lost my dad to liver cancer, its a relentless unforgiving disease that shows no compassion< 30 is no age heartbreaking news. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family.

R.I.P Elena

Kesgraveblue57 added 19:44 - May 5
A very sad day R.I.P Elena

superkevinwilson added 20:12 - May 5

NicRams added 21:00 - May 5
Will always be part of the ITFC family and will be much missed and much respected. RIP Bally x

MaySixth added 21:30 - May 5
I met her and her friends after the Barnsley game and had a long chat with her. I'm genuinely shocked by this news. Lovely girl. Had to put up with me blathering on about watching her Dad's debut at home to Stoke and me walking to Vicarage Road in my half Russian/half Ipswich hat. RIP.

kerryblue added 13:02 - May 6
Very shocking news,RIP such a hard time for her Dad so close to loosing his close friend Ian Redford

Blue041273 added 15:33 - May 6
Absolutely devastated. RIP Elena. My respects go to all the Baltacha family.

Seasider added 20:30 - May 6
Retired in November,married in December,diagnosed in Jan,announcement not made til March,and passed away in May at the very young age of 30.
Rest in Peace Bally,and condolences to family.Didn't meet her personally but never heard a bad word about her.
Understand that although she was very ill recently,telephoned to wish one of her academy well in a forthcoming tournament.This says so much about this lovely young woman.

algarvefan added 15:07 - May 7
A tragic loss at such a young age.

Thoughts and prayers with the family. RIP Elena x

Surreyexile added 07:11 - May 8
Incredibly sad, tragic loss of a superb human being. RIP Bally

kingburley4ever added 18:09 - May 8
What a heroic female she was. She moved to Scotland but came back to Ipswich where she belonged.
Andy Murray even dedicated his victory yesterday to Bally shows what an inspiration Elena was.

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