Former player and long-time official Jimmy Moore, who will best be remembered as the Tournament Referee at The Queen’s Club between 1978 and 2019, has died at the age of 83 in Australia.
Jimmy was a dear friend to all of us at Queen’s... We will all remember fondly his stories of his days driving round Europe playing with the likes of Laver and Emerson, and later officiating over [John] McEnroe, Hewitt, Murray and others, usually told over a Pimm’s at the end of a long day of tennis. It is a privilege to have known him, and worked with him, and we will all miss him hugely. Stephen Farrow, former Queen's Club Championship Tournament Director
Born in Mareeba in Far North Queensland, Australia, on 20 May, 1938, Moore was a player before becoming an official, competing against countrymen Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall and Roy Emerson in the 1950s and ‘60s, and also played in international squash tournaments.
It was as a Referee, though, especially for the event now known as the LTA’s cinch Championships, that he is best known and fondly remembered in this country.
He presided over matches on the famous grass courts at The Queen’s Club for 42 consecutive years, covering the eras of Jimmy Connors, Boris Becker, Lleyton Hewitt, Andy Roddick, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray.
In 1984, John McEnroe, the reigning World No 1 and Wimbledon champion, called for Moore as the Referee and supervisor Kurt Nielsen onto the court after the American disagreed with a line call at 2-5 down in the second set against Leif Shiras, who had beaten Ivan Lendl earlier in the week.
Moore was greeted with a 3-minute volley of complaints, listening calmly to both the Chair Umpire, Robert Smith, and the player, before saying: “No, the umpire’s right, that’s it, you’ve got to go and play.”
McEnroe responded, angrily: “That’s it. That’s all you ever say?” to which Moore responded: “That’s it, now go and play!”
Moore recalled 34 years late, when presented with a miniature replica trophy in recognition of the 4 decades in his role: “McEnroe was upset, he’s ranting and raving, so you’ve just got to let him get on with it, and then tell him to go and play.
“He called me and a colleague ’two bumps on a log!’… He was just indicating that he didn’t think we did anything.”
In 2016, Moore presented McEnroe with a commemorative replica trophy on the same court, alongside other 4-time champions Boris Becker, Roy Emerson and Lleyton Hewitt, in an on-court presentation, and the two shared a hug in front of the packed stands.
When Moore’s 40-year contribution to Queen’s was honoured in 2018, McEnroe was among the many prominent figures who attended in person to warmly congratulate the Australian.
Popular with everyone, Moore officiated at every level of the game, ranging from junior ITF tournaments to Davis Cup ties and many international tournaments.
He was the Tournament Referee for the Brisbane International from the ATP 250 event’s inception in 2009 through until its most recent edition in 2020, while was also a regular behind the scenes at The Championships at Wimbledon.
He was also a consultant Tour supervisor at the WTA for more than 12 years, until 2007.
“Jimmy was a true gentleman and legend of the sport,” said the WTA’s Donna Kelso, who worked alongside Moore at the Brisbane International for many years. “His tales of travelling the world as a player with the elite of Australian tennis royalty would entertain listeners for hours.
“Jimmy was a mentor and friend to so many officials and players around the globe, especially in Australia and Asia, and he would address any situation with calmness and empathy.
“His smile and laughter will be missed, however we know his legacy and memory will live on.”
Chris Pollard, LTA Director of Events and Digital, said: “The LTA sends its condolences to the family of Jim Moore – our referee at the Cinch Championships for over four decades.
“Jimmy was much loved and respected by all of us, the players, coaches, officials and will forever be remembered with smiles on our faces as well as his.”
In addition to the WTA, LTA, and the ATP, Tennis Australia are among those paying tribute to Moore’s enduring contribution to tennis.
Asitha Attygala, TA’s Manager Officiating, noted the impact he made to many people locally and on an international scale.
“Tennis Australia Officiating sends its condolences to the family of Jimmy Moore,” Attygala said. “Jimmy has been a mentor and friend to many officials around the world.
“He had utmost respect from everyone, and has been a big part of many officials’ development.
“The Australian officiating community will greatly miss him.”
Stephen Farrow, who was the Tournament Director at Queen’s from 2013 until 2020, established a close friendship with Moore over that period.
“Jimmy was a dear friend to all of us at Queen’s,” said Farrow, now TA’s Director of Tournaments, Player and International Relations. “On a personal level, his advice and guidance to me as Tournament Director was invaluable, and he was loved and admired by our whole team and hugely respected by the players.
“We will all remember fondly his stories of his days driving round Europe playing with the likes of Laver and Emerson, and later officiating over [John] McEnroe, Hewitt, Murray and others, usually told over a Pimm’s at the end of a long day of tennis.
“It is a privilege to have known him, and worked with him, and we will all miss him hugely.”
Moore had an enduring passion for tennis, and while the Queenslander also competed internationally as a squash player, he played in the singles main draw of 5 Grand Slams, reaching the second round of the Australian Championships in 1959.
He met his wife on tour, Fay Toyne, also an accomplished player who competed in numerous Grand Slams in both singles and doubles, reaching the Roland Garros final in 1966, and the couple announced their engagement at Wimbledon in 1967.
Moore remained passionate in his support of his first home in the sport at the Mareeba Tennis Club and in recent years, the proud Queenslander had commenced training others to fill his Tournament Referee role at the Brisbane International.
James (Jimmy) Moore, 1938-2022