28 JULY 1979, Page 16

Sir; There is a simpler and more creditable explanation for

the contemporary cult of sport than that suggested by Christopher Booker in his article on Wimbledon. In an age of triumphant charlatanism, 'mere games-playing' is one area of life where the charlatan cannot succeed — where our need to admire real, unfakeable achievement is satisfied.

Given luck and impudence it is possible successfully to pose as a great writer (Pound, Pinter); a great scientist (Freud, Jung); a great statesman (Macmillan, Kissinger); even a great soldier (Montgomery, Dayan). But, thank God, one still cannot pass oneself off as a world-class tennis player (or gymnast, or swimmer) if one isn't, or pretend to have broken an athletics record if one hasn't. Navratilova is an inferior sort of heroine, but she is not a phony one!

David Watkins Gaycroft, Laleston Bridgend, Glamorgan.