We first became aware of Andy Murray when we were camping at Ballater in 2005. We had popped into the Balmoral Bar early evening and were chatting to some locals. Someone had asked if we were from Dunblane. Yes we replied, expecting the usual sympathetic comment that goes with our hometown. Instead he pointed at the TV, ‘That guys fae Dunblane’.
And there he was. Andy Murray. A big skinny guy not just from Scotland but from Dunblane, playing at Wimbledon. And winning. He was actually winning. We all watched, rooting for this guy we’d never heard of. But he was ours now. Oor Andy.
We had to leave the bar to go for a meal and sadly when we returned later, we found out he’d lost. We were scunnered. When we left he was on fire and 2 sets up but he had lost. ‘Aye his fitness let him down’ explained an unfeasibly fat guy at the bar.
And with that withering criticism, Scotland became a nation of tennis experts. Years later, in the Dunblane Hotel public bar, we crammed in as Andy lost the first set of a Wimbledon semi final. ‘Ach he’ll be fine’ explained a pot bellied pig next to me, ‘as long as he wins the next frame’. The television crew positioned in the corner of the pub missed a trick there – they should have interviewed that guy.
Another time, Andy was playing a crucial Wimbledon match. Fuck it was tense he was a baw hair away fae going oot. I retreated to the kitchen to do the dishes. My wife was up off her seat ‘c’mon Andy!’ alternating wi ‘for fucks sake Andy’ and finally just a wailing sort of ‘awww come on!’ I crept back thru to watch. And then finally…finally he won. Oooft we were shattered. Elaine turns to me and says ‘is this what its like when you watch Scotland?’ Speechless, I nodded.It was a rare moment between us.
Thanks to Andy. Oor Andy.
PS Happy 33rd birthday to Andy when it comes on Friday. Guys a legend and we in Dunblane owe him bigly for everything hes done. A further blog may follow….