Place in stardom’s premier league for Murray

HISTORY-maker Andy Murray spent the day after winning Wimbledon basking in the after-glow as praise and congratulations continued to rain down – including Prime Ministerial support for a knighthood.

Andy Murray with the Mens Single's Trophy during the photocall by the Fred Perry statue
Andy Murray with the Mens Single's Trophy during the photocall by the Fred Perry statue

The 26-year-old whizzed round a whirl of media engagements, played in a knockabout at a sports centre in south London and made a trip to Number 10 where staff gave him an impromptu guard of honour, applauding as he stepped inside.

Prior to the Downing Street reception, David Cameron had said he could not “think of anyone who deserves one more” when asked if the first British winner of the Wimbledon’s men’s title for 77 years deserved a knighthood.

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Murray responded modestly when questioned whether he deserved to be known as “Sir Andy”and said: “I think it’s a nice thing to have or be offered. I think just because everyone’s waited for such a long time for this, that’s probably why it’ll be suggested, but I don’t know if it merits that. I don’t know.”

Earlier, Murray had found himself back on court but this time rallying with a clergyman, a police community support officer and a three-year-old boy during the community event at the Black Prince Community Hub in Kennington.

The new Wimbledon champion said: “It’s nice to see a lot of kids coming to play, and some of them are good. It’s a nice facility for all different sports, so the more of these we can have, the better.”

Murray said he hoped his success led to more youngsters taking up tennis but added there needed to be the right facilities and access to allow that to happen.

He also revealed he had been congratulated by another of the country’s sporting icons, David Beckham, and said he had taken inspiration from Sir Alex Ferguson, who had contacted him twice since his triumph.

“I got a message from him yesterday and this morning,” Murray said yesterday. “He’s actually going on a cruise up the coast of Scotland so he wasn’t able to come. It was amazing, he said to me that he always wanted to do that and he said it takes 10 days. He’d never done it in his life because he never took 10 days off from his work.

“He’s just had such an unbelievable work ethic for such a long period of time 
and spending 15 minutes with him, he’s a really impressive guy and you can learn a lot from him.”

Meanwhile, in Murray’s old home town of Dunblane residents and visitors revelled in his success. On the High Street Andy Murray fans queued to get their picture taken next to the post box painted gold in the wake of last year’s Olympic victory, gleaming again after a fresh lick of paint.

Posters congratulating the tennis star hung in almost 
every shop window and a 
street sign sat outside the 
butcher with the words “WIMBLE-DONE!!”

The shop has produced special sausages flavoured with strawberry to mark Wimbledon season.

And at their home just yards from the local tennis court, Murray’s grandparents Roy, 81, and Shirley, 79, spoke of their pride in their grandson’s achievements.

Shirley said: “We couldn’t be more proud of him. It’s what he’s been trying to achieve all these years, what he’s been working so hard for, and it’s all paid off in these last 12 months.

“It makes you feel so proud and humble for all the right reasons. It gives you such a lift.” Roy added: “There was a sense of relief, a feeling of ‘thank goodness’.

“Especially after Wimbledon last year, and after coming back to get the US Open and 
the Olympics – this just crowns it.”

Their daughter, Murray’s mother, Judy, will shortly return to Scotland and they are looking forward to hearing all the details, they said. The couple have filled nine scrapbooks with cuttings from Murray’s career so far – not including Sunday’s historic win.