JONATHAN Markson, the man who created one of Europe’s biggest and best known tennis camps in Oxford, has died aged 55.

The Jonathan Markson Oxford Tennis Camp, has attracted thousands of players to Oxford, since being founded in 1981.

Mr Markson, right, a former Scottish tennis international, will also be remembered as one of Oxford University’s most successful sports coaches since the war.

Under his guidance, the Oxford tennis team won ten times against Cambridge in 12 years.

He trained as a barrister, but sport remained his first love and ultimately the route to a successful business.

Mr Markson, who lived in London, was diagnosed with leukaemia four months ago. His partner, Andrea Volna, had given birth to their daughter, Daniella, three months ago.

Mr Markson leaves three other children Jack, 15, Susie, 12, and Jessica, aged two.

Born in Glasgow, Mr Markson first arrived in Oxford to read law at Christ Church.

He had been an Oxford University captain.

When he became the university coach, he took over a demoralised Oxford squad still coming to terms with 14 years of consecutive defeats at the hands of Cambridge.

Oxford’s fortunes were to be transformed almost immediately under his leadership, which meant him having to juggle his time at the Bar with three weekly trips to Oxford.

He eventually took the decision to give up law, missing the chance to apply for silk, to concentrate on founding his tennis school, based on the grass courts of Christ Church.

He had hit on the idea of setting up a school after working in the United States with the late Frank Brennan, who coached the great Billie-Jean King.

The school quickly became an Oxford sports institution.

In 1986 he opened an all-year-round centre in Portugal and later in Majorca.

In 1989 he had sold the business to refocus on law, but was to spend seven years trying to buy it back.

When he did, he went on to set up schools in Venice, Eastern Europe, South Africa and the United States.

But the Oxford camp remained the heart of the operation and in 2009 attracted 1,000 players for the first time.

A funeral service was held at Hoop Lane Cemetery in Golders Green, London, last Tuesday.