Andy Murray. It seems everyone wants a piece of the new Wimbledon Champion – including me.
And it’s not surprising. He’s the first British Wimbledon champion for 77 years, something that had started to seem like an impossible dream.
As a Scot, I am immensely proud that the feisty tennis champion from Dunblane is one of my fellow countrymen.
Just over 20 years ago I lived in the beautiful village of Dunblane when I was studying at Stirling University.
Seventeen years ago (March 13, 1996, to be precise), the Dunblane massacre took place.
Thomas Hamilton walked into Dunblane Primary School and slaughtered 16 children and a teacher. Andy narrowly escaped being killed as his class was the next one due into the gym when the massacre began.
In a recent interview for a BBC documentary, Andy spoke with powerful feeling about how it affected him. He shed tears when he said: “You have no idea how tough something like that is.”
All of the children who died would have led productive lives if they hadn’t been so cruelly killed. His victory at Wimbledon is a triumph over the evil deeds of Hamilton.
In his TV interview Andy said he hope that his wins on the tennis court would have a positive influence on Dunblane.
He has certainly done his former school and the people of Scotland proud.
Unusually, I watched the Wimbledon final with my family from Scotland. They were all down in Blackpool at the weekend to celebrate my sister Leila’s 40th birthday.
We stayed at the Haven caravan site at Marton Mere – a surprisingly attractive and peaceful location.
Extremely excited, we crammed into a static caravan to watch the game. All was silent across the site save for shouts of “Come on Murray!” On the site we were surrounded by fellow Scots as Blackpool seems to be a Mecca for Glaswegians.
Even my four-year-old nephew Cameron struck up the call: “Come on Murray!”
My mum, a former tennis coach in Edinburgh, had tears of joy in her eyes when Andy won and the rest of us were still roaring: “Come on Murray.” All of the hype about the tennis reminded me of my younger days when my mum used to take me and my brother and sister to the local tennis club.
We didn’t quite fit in at the club as it was mainly frequented by toffs from one of Edinburgh’s upper class areas.
A particularly vocal club member – a fine fellow called Sinclair Campbell – used to bark: “Shot sir!” during matches.
This sent us into paroxysms of giggles. I wonder if Sinclair was shouting “Shot sir” when Andy was in full flow.
We Scots often get slated for being rubbish at sport but not now. Andy is our trump card.
Come on Murray!