Mens Tennis Forums banner
1 - 6 of 6 Posts

· Registered
17,683 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
not sure if this been posted but its :sad: :(
saw him this yr at Birmingham and Wimbledon and his voice is really distinctive.
he's gonna be missed :sad: :sad:
used to see him smoking regularly when he was off-duty.
He was 62


Veteran umpire Shales dies
By Mark Hodgkinson

Jeremy Shales, who officiated at more than 40 Wimbledon Championships and will be best remembered as the chair-umpire who caused one of Ilie Nastase's most vicious outbursts by addressing the player as "Nastase" and not "Mister Nastase", has died after a short illness.

The British official was in the chair for Nastase's 1977 Wimbledon quarter-final against Sweden's Bjorn Borg. Nastase was becoming increasingly irritable as he neared defeat, and he took great offence when Shales, "like a master speaks to a naughty schoolboy", called him "Nastase" over the Centre Court public address system.
Nastase, a Romanian already known as "Nasty" for his short temper and controversial approach to dealing with officialdom, immediately approached Shales and stood there wagging his finger in indignation. "If you want to speak to me," Nastase said with real menace in his voice, "you call me Mister."

The episode is often listed as one of the most memorable tantrums at the All England Club. "I think Shales got the message. In fact, the whole world got the message, because after that I started to be called Mister Nastase everywhere," Nastase would later write in his autobiography, which was published under the title, 'Mister Nastase'.

Shales was also the umpire when Martina Navratilova won the first of her nine Wimbledon titles, in 1978, and also when Martina Hingis triumphed at the All England Club in 1997. He also officiated at the Australian Open, the French Open and the US Open, and it is believed that he was still working a few weeks ago.

Jeremy Shales
(Filed: 17/09/2005)

Jeremy Shales, who died on September 8 aged 62, was the unassuming veteran umpire of more than 40 Wimbledon championships, including 11 finals, and witnessed some of the most dramatic and controversial moments in the history of the tournament.
Shales officiated at the first women's singles final between Martina Navratilova and Martina Hingis and was in the chair for the celebrated Borg versus Gerulaitis semi-final of 1977. He was touched later when he met Vitas Gerulaitis on a plane and asked what had been his most memorable match. Gerulaitis replied that it had been that epic encounter with Borg, at which point his coach reminded him that he had lost the match. "I know," replied the player, "but I could've beaten anyone that day. It was just that Bjorn was operating on a different level."

Such good sportsmanship was not always in evidence, and Shales endured more than his fair share of on-court tantrums. He was in the chair on the occasion in 1977 when the mercurial Ilie Nastase blew a fuse during his quarter-final against Bjorn Borg. Nastase, who was losing, took great offence when Shales, "like a master speaks to a naughty schoolboy", reprimanded him for swearing, calling him "Nastase". The player immediately approached the umpire's chair, wagging his finger indignantly. "You call me Mister, if you want to speak to me," he demanded, furiously. After that umpires at all Nastase's matches took care to call him, sometimes with exaggerated courtesy, "Mister Nastase".

Shales never took it personally and remained unflappable at all times. "We are there to control the match," he reflected, "not stifle the player's natural sporting aggression. You have to use a certain amount of discretion." He retained a soft spot for the irascible Romanian: "Nastase could have got away with so much more than he did," he observed. "He was so good at languages, but he always swore in the language of the host nation."

Jeremy Shales was born in April 1943 at Roehampton, in south west London. His father was secretary of the Bank of England sports club at Roehampton, home of the Wimbledon qualifying tournament, and from the age of three, young Jeremy was a regular there. He also became a member of his local tennis club and, when he was knocked out in the early rounds of the junior events, often ended up in the umpire's chair.

In 1960, when he was 17, Shales was invited to officiate at Wimbledon, and he continued to serve there as an umpire from then on, juggling his duties with working at the Bank of England.

Over the course of 40 years, Shales umpired at all the Grand Slam events and also took his turn on the satellite circuit, presiding as far afield as Cyprus and Pakistan. In 1985 he was one of two full-time officials appointed by the International Professional Tennis Council to officiate at Grand Slam tournaments. The idea, first mooted by Arthur Ashe, was designed to improve discipline and achieve a greater degree of consistency in officiating, but proved controversial among some players.

After his appointment, Shale was in the seat for McEnroe's 1986 defeat by Sergio Casal in Paris when the American's outburst against the umpire led to a 42-day suspension. At Key Biscayne the same year, his line calls in a semi-final between Jimmy Connors and Ivan Lendl so enraged Connors that he refused to play the fifth set and defaulted. Shales at the time was publicly congratulated for his handling of the situation, but a year later he was sacked from his job as a full-time official at the insistence of some unnamed professional players. Many of his fellow umpires believed he had been made a scapegoat.

Shales continued to umpire at many of the world's leading tournaments, remaining undaunted by intimidation on court. At the 2001 Wimbledon championship, Joanette Kruger became so furious that she whacked Shales's chair, leaving him shaking in his seat. When she lost her match to Marta Marrero, she refused to shake hands with Shales, who calmly gave her a code violation (a fine of $500).

It was not just the players who gave Shales some awkward moments. On one occasion he noticed that Centre Court was moving slowly but inexorably away from him. "I realised that no one had put chocks behind the wheels in the umpire's chair and I was slowly rolling backwards towards the crowd."

Shales is survived by his wife, Mel, and two daughters.

· Forum Umpire:, Gaston Gaudio,
124,599 Posts
Thanks for that TBE and I remember his problem with Connors and I wonder who was behind his sacking?

RIP Jeremy

· Registered
4,515 Posts
He has really seen some pretty interesting things, it is too bad that he died kinda young.

· Premium Member
24,370 Posts
Thanks for bringing this to our attention, Eggy!
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.