PLANS are under way to give Andy Murray a “hero’s welcome” when he returns to his hometown of Dunblane, council leaders have revealed.
First Minister Alex Salmond said yesterday that a reception may be held at Stirling Castle to honour the tennis star – who he dubbed the “king of Scotland” – while it is expected a parade will also be held in the streets of Dunblane, where fans last gathered to celebrate the Scot’s US Open win last year.
Stirling Council is set to grant Murray – who made history when he became the first Briton in 77 years to win Wimbledon – Freedom of the City of Stirling when he makes his triumphant homecoming to Scotland.
“I was thinking of a reception in Stirling Castle, which has got a nice sort of home-town ring to it, with Dunblane, something like that,” said Mr Salmond.
“But Andy is king of Scotland, he can have anything he likes.”
More than 15,000 fans lined the streets to celebrate Murray’s homecoming following his win at the US Open in September, when Murray posed for photographs and signed autographs for more than two hours.
Stirling provost Mike Robbins congratulated Murray on his “phenomenal” win. “On behalf of the people of Stirling and Dunblane, I would like to offer Andy our heartfelt congratulations,” said Mr Robbins. “The whole of the Stirling area is enjoying his phenomenal success at Wimbledon.
“Now we are looking forward to celebrating his success and are in talks with Andy’s management team.”
Mr Robbins added that the timing of any celebration will depend on Murray’s schedule and when he is next likely to visit Scotland from his home in Surrey.
“We should have a clearer idea of what will happen in the next few days,” he said. “Our celebration will have to fit in with his training schedule and other commitments, but we will be delighted to give him the hero’s welcome he deserves.”