There aren’t many school kids who can say they played at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships.

But thanks to Merton Music Foundation (MMF), 60 students from across the borough can claim just that, even if it was in a musical sense rather than a sporting one.

For more than 25 years, bands from MMF have been invited to perform for the hoards of enthusiastic tennis fans visiting the All England Lawn Tennis Club.

Set up on the Tea Lawn, in the shadow of Centre Court, traditionally the Merton Youth Concert Band play on the second Thursday of the tournament and the Merton Youth Jazz Orchestra on the second Friday.

At 10.30am, the moment the gates open, conductors Norma Whitson, Adam Saunders and Michael Chillingworth struck up the bands with ‘Purple and Green’, the Wimbledon theme tune, before working through a two-hour set.

MMF’s CEO, Elisabeth Wigley, said what a thrill it was to perform there.

"This is the oldest tennis tournament in the world and it happens to be on our doorstep," she said.

"Playing to such an enthusiastic audience while soaking up the atmosphere of this iconic sporting event is an absolute pleasure and a privilege for our young musicians and a highlight of our calendar."

It’s not unusual to spot one or two of the band members wearing ball boy/girl uniforms rather than their Merton Music one, as following their performance they would need to hotfoot it to one of the courts to perform their other duties for the day.