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Andy Murray didn’t like Salmond’s saltire-waving

Andy Murray is unsure which nation to play for if Scotland votes for independence. Picture: Getty

Andy Murray is unsure which nation to play for if Scotland votes for independence. Picture: Getty

  • by ANGUS HOWARTH
 

SCOTTISH tennis champion Andy Murray said he “didn’t like it” when First Minister Alex Salmond unfurled a saltire flag behind Prime Minister David Cameron in the Royal Box at his historic Wimbledon victory last year.

When asked in an interview if he had met Mr Salmond, the tennis star said he had “when I went back home to Scotland after the US Open” in 2012 and that “he seemed perfectly nice to me”. But he added: “I didn’t like it when he got the Scottish flag up at Wimbledon.”

And when asked who he would play for if Scotland became independent, he said: “I don’t even know.”

He said: “I started competing for Great Britain when I was 11. A lot of people forget that.

“I’m 27 now and I’ve been competing for Great Britain for 16 years.”

He would not be concerned if he has children and they do not have Scottish accents, he added.

“I wouldn’t have thought that would be high on my list of priorities,” said Murray.

The Scot provoked a backlash in 2006 when he joked he would support “anyone but England” in the football World Cup, a comment he said that he later regretted.

A few years ago the Scottish star wore trademark saltire wristbands, which he proudly threw into the crowds at Wimbledon after matches.

Earlier this year, Murray said he did not want to comment on the referendum debate because his remarks would be seized upon.

Last night, a spokesman for Mr Salmond said: “Andy is reigning Wimbledon champion and a great Scottish tennis player. He has made it clear a number of times that he doesn’t want to comment on Scottish politics.

“Everyone should just accept that and let him get on with playing tennis, rather than attempt to put him on the spot about who he would play for in a future Olympics.”

Patricia Ferguson, Scottish Labour’s sport spokeswoman, said: “Alex Salmond’s antics embarrassed Scotland and it appears he embarrassed Andy Murray as well.

“While all eyes were on Andy at his moment of triumph and one of the greatest moments in Scotland’s sporting history, the First Minister’s desperate attempts to steal the limelight made him look very foolish.

“With the Commonwealth Games a few weeks away, let’s hope Alex Salmond sees sense and leaves his saltire at home.”

SEE ALSO

Andy Murray Wimbledon: Alex Salmond faces flag row

Salmond laughs off Wimbledon flag incident

Cameron criticises Salmond over Saltire flag row

 

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