Alan Mills (tennis)

Alan Ronald Mills, CBE (born 6 November 1935), is a former tennis player and tournament referee for the Wimbledon tennis championships from 1982 to 2005. Although each individual tennis match was controlled by an on-court umpire, Alan Mills ran the entire tournament. However, perhaps he was most well known because the decision to stop play in the event of rain was that of Mills, and so his face was familiar to millions of television viewers worldwide, in the corner of Centre Court, clutching his two-way radio and glancing upwards at the sky in search of rainclouds.

Alan Mills
Full nameAlan Ronald Mills
Country (sports) Great Britain
Born (1935-11-06) 6 November 1935 (age 84)
Stretford, Lancashire
Grand Slam Singles results
French Open3R (1959, 1962)
Wimbledon4R (1959, 1962)
US Open2R (1963)
Professional majors
Wembley ProQF (1967)
Grand Slam Doubles results
WimbledonSF (1966)
Mixed doubles
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
WimbledonQF (1957)
Team competitions
Davis CupSFEu (1959, 1961, 1964)

Tennis careerEdit

Mills was himself an accomplished tennis player. At the age of 17 he was the senior county champion in his home county of Lancashire, and he reached the last 16 in the men's singles at Wimbledon on two occasions. He was also the first man in the history of the Davis Cup to win a match with the scoreline 6–0, 6–0, 6–0, completing the match in just 32 minutes.

Mills was the first Englishman to defeat Rod Laver when the Australian came to Britain.[1]

He became a professional tennis coach in 1966 and played matches on the professional tour.[2]

Personal lifeEdit

He married English table tennis international Jill Rook in 1960.[3]


  1. ^ "The Times & The Sunday Times".
  2. ^ "Alan Mills Has Beaten Tennis' Best". Toledo Blade. 1 December 1967. p. 29.
  3. ^ "Jill engaged" (PDF). Table Tennis England.
  • Mills, A. (2005). Lifting the Covers. ISBN 0-7553-1229-5 – an autobiography of Alan Mills' 21 years as referee of the Wimbledon Championships

External linksEdit