David Mercer, 1950-2020

One of ITWA’s founder members David Mercer has died suddenly at the age of 70.

Originally a lawyer by training, David played tennis to a high standard in his native Wales, but then devoted himself to umpiring. He umpired the 1984 Wimbledon final between John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors, and would have become one of the first touring professional umpires had he stayed in officiating, as the first two professional umpires were appointed in 1985.

But by the time he umpired McEnroe’s crushing victory over Connors, he had already signed up to join BBC Radio as a sports reporter. He later became the BBC’s tennis correspondent, before moving mainly into television. He is thought to be the only person to have both umpired a Wimbledon singles final and led the commentary on a Wimbledon singles final.

He was also involved in politics, and came within 401 votes of being elected to the British parliament in 1979.

His lawyer’s background meant he was of immense help to ITWA over questions of a legal nature, and he was always willing to offer the benefit of his experience. ITWA sends its best wishes to his wife Sue, and his daughter Caroline.

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