After Olympics tennis official has date with the Paralympics

MCHG 12-719  Paralympic tennis umpire Graham Liddle of Hemel Hempstead.

MCHG 12-719 Paralympic tennis umpire Graham Liddle of Hemel Hempstead.

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A bus driver who endured a double heart bypass only last November was a tennis official at the London Olympics.

Now line umpire Graham Liddle, who celebrated 40 years on the sidelines at Wimbledon in 2011, is playing a part in the Paralympics and will be staying at the athletes village.

Graham, 62, who was among the officials at this summer’s Wimbledon ladies final match between Serena Williams and Agnieszka Radwanska, was selected for the Games on a performance points basis.

“It’s not something that I would miss for the world,” he said.

But the Olympic tennis matches got off to a slow start for Graham. “It took me about four or five days to officiate on a match that was remotely interesting,” he said. “The tennis was pretty bland, there were a lot of empty seats but it did pick up.

“I was on a couple of Andy Murray matches, including one on Court One when Prince William and Kate were there.”

But Graham, from Windsor Close, Hemel Hempstead, was sadly not officiating when Murray beat Roger Federer to claim gold in the final because he had been given the day off.