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Legendary Wimbledon referee Alan Mills dies aged 88… ATP Tour celebrates his ‘impeccable character and integrity’

  • Alan Mills served as a referee at Wimbledon from 1983 to 2005
  • Mills, who has died aged 88, earned the nickname ‘Rain Man’
  • Before becoming an official, Mills previously spent time as a player and coach

Former Wimbledon referee Alan Mills has died tragically at the age of 88.

Mills served as an umpire at the All England Club from 1983 to 2005 and was very popular in the game. The ATP Tour announced the news of his death on Thursday.

During his time at Wimbledon, Mills earned the nickname ‘Rain Man’ because it was his responsibility to decide whether to suspend play during inclement weather.

In a statement, the ATP described Mills as «of impeccable character and integrity».

Meanwhile, another former Wimbledon referee, Gerry Armstrong, also paid tribute.

Legendary former Wimbledon referee Alan Mills has died tragically at the age of 88

During his time at Wimbledon, Mills earned the nickname ‘Rain Man’ because it was his responsibility to decide whether to suspend play in inclement weather.

«Alan has been a great influence on me and many officials around the world,» he said.

«Over the years we worked together at Wimbledon and on the ATP Tour, he was always helpful and encouraging.»

«It was a great honor to work alongside him in professional tennis for many decades.»

After ending his tenure as a Wimbledon official in 2005, Mills continued to referee at some ATP, WTA and ATP Champions Tour tournaments until 2015.

Mills, formerly a player and coach, was awarded an OBE in 1996 and a CBE in 2006

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Mills was well known for various clashes over the years with the likes of John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors.

He also famously disqualified Tim Henman from Wimbledon in 1995 when the Brit accidentally hit a girl in the ear with the ball.

Before taking office, Mills was a player and coach. His high water mark came in 1966 when he reached the men’s doubles semi-finals at Wimbledon, and he also reached the third round of the French Open twice.

Mills was awarded an OBE in 1996 and a CBE in 2006 for services to sport.

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk

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