Brighouse referee Robert is honoured at Wimbledon

Brighouse-based Robert Balmforth(right)  taking the Official of the Year award at the LTA Awards 2018. .
Brighouse-based Robert Balmforth(right) taking the Official of the Year award at the LTA Awards 2018. .

Brighouse referee Robert Balmforth picked up a top award when the Lawn Tennis Association celebrated its annual awards at Wimbledon.

Balmforth won the Official of the Year award after a highly-successful 2017 in which he chaired more than 150 matches across the world, including all four Grand Slams.

He was also part of the umpiring team at the Davis Cup in both 2016 and 2017 and has since been promoted to one of the few Silver Badge umpires as he looks to cement his status as one of the most highly-respected officials in the game.

Now in its third year, the LTA awards celebrate the outstanding achievements made by tennis volunteers, coaches, clubs and community programmes across the country.

This year saw a record number of public nominations with 1,460 in total for the awards, covering 10 different categories.

Nominations were drawn from 25,000 volunteers, 4,400 coaches, 940 officials, 20,000 schools, 2,800 clubs and over 9,700 LTA-approved tournaments across the country.

Balmforth received his prize at a lunch attended by HRH Duchess of Gloucester, Jo Durie and Mark Cox, and hosted by ex-British No 1 Andrew Castle.

“I am honoured to have won this award and very proud to represent Yorkshire and British officiating,” said a delighted Balmforth.

“The support from the LTA has been instrumental to me achieving my goals as an official, and to be a winner alongside so many inpirational people from the tennis family is amazing.”