This is way off topic, but it is an article I have always wanted to write. I have been waiting a few years to write it and today is the day.
I remember watching Andy Murray win the Wimbledon and US open junior titles many years ago and saying to my wife, he is going to be good. He could be better than Tim Henman! I look back now and realise what a stupid thing to say that was- Tiger Tim was never going to win a Grand Slam because he was just too middle class, too well brought up and seemingly incapable of emotion when on court. Far too polite for my liking.
Andy Murray was different- some say he is rude and arrogant and miserable. The people who say that like ‘nice people’ like Tim Henman, thoroughly English people who are there to take part and not win. The fact that Andy Murray is not like that is why he is now the Olympic and US Open champion and he should be saluted for what he has achieved. In Britain we are so used to getting close and failing at the last moment, but Murray has never demonstrated that quality. He may have lost 4 previous Grand Slam finals, but I always saw him as nerveless and capable of mixing it with the best.
So many people in England hate Andy Murray because of a comment he made when he was a teenager. Here is a piece from the Daily Mail about the situation, a surprisingly reasonable piece from this particular publication-
Some of the nonsensical criticism Britain's No 1 has received is laced with such misplaced venom and outrage that it makes me despair.
So, for the hard of thinking, let me state here that: I did the interview with Andy Murray and Tim Henman a couple of years back where Murray talked about 'supporting whoever England were playing against'.
It was a clearly a sarcastic remark. He was responding to teasing from your columnist about Scotland's absence from the 2006 World Cup and derisive laughter from the mischievous Henman.
It was reported in that context in this newspaper at the time and the exchange was run as a transcript.
A couple of days later a red-top got excited about the comments, lifted a couple of them into a 'story' that took on a life of its own and from there the truth was lost.
It is astonishing how this has run and run.
An extremely talented columnist pal of mine declared unequivocally the other day that: 'I don't think his remarks about England were a joke. There are some people who just don't like the English and I believe in my marrow that Murray is one of them.'
Based on what?
I did the interview - and it was a joke, as I have said before. And what marrows have to do with it I don't know, but it is certainly time to call a halt when vegetables like David Mellor pop up on the Today programme to lecture Murray about how to wave a Union Flag.
So, here we are today and Britain (not just Scotland) has a Grand Slam winner, our first for 76 years and we should be proud. I am and so are millions of others. It is just such a shame that there are so many people out there who have a mis-placed, and ignorant, hatred for a man who has done more for British tennis than any other over the last century. I feel a sense of relief today- after 8 years supporting this guy he has finally acheived the dream. Here’s to many more Grand Slams for Andy over the next few years