Paddy Sandford-Johnson obituary | Computing

Paddy Sandford-Johnson, who has died aged 92, was a techniques expert in early computer systems and a Wimbledon tennis umpire. He was both of those multitalented and speedy-imagining.

His very first task was as a salesman at Unilever, but he moved to IBM in 1957, when only a dozen or so British businesses employed pcs. On realising the influence this new technological innovation would have, “systems” grew to become his byword. In excess of the up coming 25 decades he created pc methods for major companies and governmental bodies – from the Royal Parks to Premium Bonds to the Royal Naval Merchants. All through a year in Liverpool he established personal computers up for the regional hospital board and its 35 hospitals, and afterwards put in a calendar year in Belfast at Gallaher, at the time the world’s largest tobacco firm, shifting sales and inventory command procedures.

At the Rank Organisation, he started with accounting techniques and in five a long time was concerned in most features of the team – Rank Xerox, cinemas, data, and Tv and radio manufacture. In 1971, he started his possess consultancy but merged with an American group AT Kearney after the mid-70s economic downturn, dealing with key projects in Europe and the United kingdom.

The front cover of Tennis World magazine’s Wimbledon Preview, showing Paddy Sandford-Johnson adjusting the net at Wimbledon in 1983.
The entrance address of Tennis World magazine’s Wimbledon Preview, demonstrating Paddy Sandford-Johnson changing the web at Wimbledon in 1983. Photograph: Federico Coppini

Illness brought this venture to an stop in the early 80s, but later on Paddy became a headhunter for important intercontinental providers, cornering the sector in computing assignments. For a 10 years he was element of major forward-thinking organisations: the British Personal computer Society, the Institute of Laptop or computer Science (dissolved in 1974), and the London governing board of the Institute of Management. He was invited to turn into a chartered engineer and in 1988 was a person of the initially 100 freemen of the newly shaped Worshipful Corporation of Facts Technologists. He was manufactured a freeman of the City of London.

Born in London for the duration of the Melancholy, Paddy was the only child of Margie (formerly Stone) and Benjamin Sandford-Johnson. He was educated at St Cyprian’s faculty, Eastbourne, and Eastbourne higher education, both of those of which were evacuated in the course of the second earth war. He took up running in his teens to get out of the way of bullies and was a keen squash and tennis participant.

When he remaining faculty compensated function had optimum precedence, but he held his athletics package in his auto to use when cost-free time allowed all through his peripatetic vocation. Dwelling at a person place in Birmingham, he grew to become a line decide at Edgbaston, then capable as an umpire. He in no way missed an Olympics, accumulating once-a-year go away to coincide with them, and was focused to following rugby, wrestling and motor racing.

Umpiring at Wimbledon (right before the computer system-created Hawk-Eye) offered other worries: from 1955 to 1984 he adjudicated on line phone calls and irate rivals such as John McEnroe. He took early retirement In 1991, later renovating a dwelling in France, in which he spent 50 % the 12 months and exactly where ferocious desk-tennis battles were being well known, as my spouse, Paddy’s more youthful cousin, discovered. He seldom conquer him.

Paddy is survived by his second wife, Wendy Kettle, whom he married in 2006 two daughters, Jemma and Sam, from his first marriage, to Annie Tayler, which ended in divorce, and 5 grandchildren.


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