It’s my Opinion

THE nation collectively held its breath, but in the end we Andy Murray supporters had to settle for second best in what was undoubtedly an enthralling game of tennis.

It was a brave effort from the young man from Dunblane, even if Andy does not particularly ‘do’ brave, seeking as he was to become the first Brit since 1936 to win Wimbledon.

Second place for him was, nevertheless, a great feat and one that he can build, on given his age, against all comers - including winner Roger Federer.

So why am giving you information you have already read about since the epic final on Sunday?

It was after all just another sports occasion, wastn’t it? Or was it?

No I’m afraid to say it was a day, even a fortnight, when we should all have been pulling together, supporting our boy. However, instead, it was an occasion when many chose to talk about the great divide which separates the countries of the UK.

On one hand, we had those of us who saw it as British boy making good on the world stage of international sport.

This was balanced by an equally enthusiastic number of Scots who saw it as a chance to hail a Scottish winner. Their claim - that the English only see Murray as British when he wins and is Scottish when he loses - needs in my opinion to be seen for what it is. A paranoid nonsense.

We can, in fact, be both Scottish and British, but not if you listen to some of my unthinking contacts who see the opportunity to turn Murray’s performance at Wimbledon into an anti-English tool.

Yet another group are just as dangerous, pretending as they do to be supporting Murray, while secretly hoping he will lose. These people are in fact the saddest of the lot, and actually are composed of members from both the English and Scottish camps. Just how pathetic is that, I ask of you who see this as just another sporting event.

So what of the young man himself who does not always get a good press?

Personally I have not talked to anyone who has met him who has anything but praise for him, or indeed his mother. Yes, even Judy.

We should take pride in Murray’s performance, including his wonderfully human response at the prize giving.

He’ll be back, don’t worry about that. Worry more about where all the money goes at the end of each Wimbledon. Money that certainly never came his way on the way up.

We should also worry about the future of a great game in the UK. Tell me where the young players are to come from?

Looking at the winners and runners up in the junior competitions says much about the future of British tennis.

Finally, just looking around the boxes around the court, packed with celebrities who were certainly not paying for their tickets, it makes you realise that pomp and circumstance count far above the actual development of the game

But then we have known this for a long, long time.