He played his last PSA match at the World Open in Rotterdam a few days ago and bade an emotional farewell, but David Palmer will still be seen on court, in PST tournaments in the USA …
Here’s the PST’s announcement:
Squash Icon David Palmer Joins PST
Framingham, MA (November 11, 2011) —Pro Squash Tour (PST) announced today the signing of Australia’s #1 squash player and two-time PSA World Champion David Palmer, who will make his PST debut in this coming week’s Cleveland Classic.
Palmer, age 35, is the world’s most dominant squash player of the past decade. He is a four-time British Open Champion (2001, 2003, 2004, 2008), two-time World Open Champion (2002, 2006), and won 27 tour titles while maintaining a 10 year continuous Top 10 ranking on the Professional Squash Association rankings. Palmer competed in last week’s PSA World Open, reaching the quarter finals, and then resigned his membership from the PSA. This decision will free him to compete in PST tournaments. He left the PSA #9 in their rankings and #7 in their World Series Standings. Originally from New South Wales, Australia, Palmer moved to the U.S. a few years ago and now makes his home in Orlando, Florida.
“I am very proud of my 17 years on the PSA tour. I have made friends all over the world and have been able to do so while playing the game I love,” said Palmer. “Now that I am based in the U.S., playing on the PST will allow me to be with my family more often and still play high level tournaments.” Palmer continued, “It’s fair to say I would still be playing on the PSA if the PST didn’t exist.”
PST Commissioner Joe McManus is obviously pleased to welcome Palmer to the tour. “David is the sport’s most recognizable name and one of its great ambassadors,” said McManus. “We have seen this type of signing before in sports. Pele came to America to bolster the game of soccer. Later, it was David Beckham for MLS. David’s addition to PST will benefit every player on the tour because his presence will allow us to attract more sponsorship and increase our tournament purses. It is a seminal moment in the history of the Pro Squash Tour and the game of squash.”
The U.S. based tour launched in 2009 as US Pro Squash. Less than a year later, it re-branded as Pro Squash Tour (PST). In response to PST’s rapid growth and with concern for its own future, the U.K.-based Professional Squash Association (PSA) in October 2010 banned its nearly 500 members from competing in PST tournaments, launching an international chase for talent.
Earlier PST signings included Irish National Champion John Rooney, Swedish National Champion Gustav Detter, long-time El Salvadoran National Champion Ricky Weisskopf, Colombian National Team Member Andres Vargas and reigning PST World Champion Bradley Ball of England. Palmer represents the tour’s biggest signing to date.
Over 150 years old and played by more than 20 million people in 185 countries, squash has shown sustained growth in the U.S. in recent years. In a Forbes Magazine study, squash was rated the best sport for getting fit and staying in shape. Pro Squash Tour’s season begins in August and runs through May.