Boris Becker wore Wimbledon colours to his sentencing in April ©Getty Images

Boris Becker is not on television coverage of Wimbledon this year, having been sent to prison in April over hiding assets to avoid paying debts, but former BBC colleagues have made sure his presence is still felt on the broadcast in Britain.

John McEnroe, like Becker a three-time Wimbledon champion, gave the German a shout-out while Emma Raducanu and Alison Van Uytvanck were waiting to enter Centre Court for their first-round match.

"I'm gonna keep it very short but sweet," McEnroe said.

"Boris, we love you.

"I miss you, man."

"We do indeed," main presenter Sue Barker - herself a Wimbledon semi-finalist in 1977 - concurred.

Becker had been a regular presence on BBC coverage of Wimbledon in recent years, as well as coaching reigning men's singles champion Novak Djokovic for a period.

It is not the first time since he was jailed that Becker has been mentioned on BBC tennis coverage, as commentator Andrew Castle declared during Queen’s earlier in the month that he was having "a real moment of missing Boris".

"I know he’s in prison and I know why," Castle continued.

"Boris, we look forward to welcoming you on your return."

Capacity crowds have returned to this year's Wimbledon ©Getty Images
Capacity crowds have returned to this year's Wimbledon ©Getty Images

The on-air tributes to Becker have drawn a mixed response, with some viewers critical of a convicted criminal being spoken of in such fond terms without full reference to the reasons for Becker’s absence being offered.

Others commended what they viewed as loyalty to a former colleague and friend.

Becker was convicted of four charges under the Insolvency Act linked to his 2017 bankruptcy by a London court in April.

Claiming the six-time Grand Slam winner had "not shown remorse or acceptance of your guilt”, judge Deborah Taylor handed down a two-and-a-half-year prison term.

Becker was declared bankrupt five years ago when he owed creditors almost £50 million ($62.8 million/€60 million).

At the April trial, Becker was acquitted of 20 further charges, including nine counts of failing to hand over trophies and medals that included two of his three Wimbledon men’s singles trophies.

Becker was found guilty of four offences, including transferring hundreds of thousands of pounds from his business account, failing to declare a property in Germany worth £1.3 million ($1.6 million/€1.5 million) and hiding a €850,000 (£710,000/$925,000) bank loan and 75,000 shares in a tech firm.

On top of the Grand Slam victories, Becker won a men’s doubles gold medal at the Barcelona 1992 Olympics.