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Pat Cash: Australia's tennis rock star

As we head towards Australia Day and remember this country's legends, our friends at Bundaberg Rum give you the chance to put forward your memories of our sporting greats. Hit us up in the comments field below and tell us your favourite Pat Cash story.

Meanwhile you can nominate your own local sporting legend and win prizes for yourself and them. More info here.

Aussie tennis hero Pat Cash was the rock star of the tennis world in the 80s.

Yes, he won a little tournament called Wimbledon at a time when Australians were hardly stars at singles tennis.

But it was his quintessential Aussie look and persona that solidified his superstar status in Australia and made him a household name.

Australian Pat Cash, kisses his trophy on the Centre Court at Wimbledon, July 5, 1987, after defeating Ivan Lendl to take the Men's Singles Championship. (AP Photo/Staff/Dear)
Australian Pat Cash, kisses his trophy on the Centre Court at Wimbledon, July 5, 1987, after defeating Ivan Lendl to take the Men's Singles Championship. (AP Photo/Staff/Dear)

The brash young tennis kid arrived on the world circuit rocking one of the all-time great mullets, while donning a terry towelling checked headband and droopy earring as trademark clothing items. 

And even like a true rock star, Pat could handle an electric guitar almost as well as a tennis racket.

Along with all that, he was also a more than decent player.

He proved that when he led Australia to an improbable and legendary Davis Cup victory in 1986 against a stacked Swedish team.

He proved it again in 1987 when our 'first' Pat of tennis rocked the sporting world by smashing robotic Czech star Ivan Lendl in the Wimbledon singles final.

It was an epic achievement, belting the then World No.1 in straight sets. It was also the first time an Aussie had won the Holy Grail of tennis, like forever - only 16 years in reality but it felt like an eternity.

Sarah Harvey

The celebration was even more memorable, climbing through the crowd to hug and kiss everyone in his private players box, followed by the shiny gold cup nesting on top of his flowing mullet. Images burnt into Australian sporting folklore forever.

He also made two Australian Open finals, including the first one ever played at Rod Laver Arena where he lost a five-set heartbreaker to the king of boring tennis Mats Wilander, who wrecked another great Aussie sporting moment.

In the end, injuries ruined his prime playing years, which was a shame for such a talented player and colourful personality on and off the court.

Cash won a more impressive title than Wimbledon back in 2010.

He was voted the Sexiest Grandfather of the Year by an independent poll in a UK women's magazine after his daughter gave birth to a baby girl.

He was only 44 and still in pretty good shape at the time so had a massive advantage on the rest of the field.

But even rock stars can be humbled: Cash was beaten in a 2001 exhibition match by a 14-year-old boy. To be fair, the boy's name was Rafael Nadal.

Nonetheless, Pat Cash still won Wimbledon one more time than most of us and did it his way.

He was our own colourful tennis personality of the '80s and we'll always love him. 

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