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Ross Murdoch’s appeal for boy, 5, who wrote letter

Ross Murdoch was contacted by the five-year-old fan who wrote to him to congratulate him on his performance in the Commonwealth Games. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Ross Murdoch was contacted by the five-year-old fan who wrote to him to congratulate him on his performance in the Commonwealth Games. Picture: Ian Rutherford

  • by MARTYN McLAUGHLIN
 

IT was a note of congratulations from one of the youngest fans of the Commonwealth Games, sent in hope rather than expectation.

Now Ross Murdoch, one of the host nation’s stars of Glasgow 2014, has appealed for public help in tracking down a five-year-old boy who wrote to him.

The gold medal-winning swimmer has launched a search for the youngster who was so taken with the 20-year-old’s success at Tollcross International Swimming Centre that he put pen to paper.

But without a definite address for Murdoch, the boy, known only as Brian, did as best as he could before sticking on a second-class stamp and dropping the note into a postbox.

In blue ink, the address on the white envelope was succinct: “Ross Murdoch, Commonwealth Champion, Balloch.”

Inside, the letter contained a drawing and a few further words of congratulations.

Even without a street name or a postcode to go on, staff at Glasgow’s Royal Mail sorting centre were able to deliver the missive safely, perhaps thanks to the deluge of letters Murdoch received after his surprise victory.

The letter, sent on 4 August, arrived at the West Dunbartonshire home of the athlete’s parents, Graham and Maureen.

Murdoch tweeted an image of the envelope a week later, thanking the Royal Mail for filling in the gaps and describing the fan mail as “cute”.

Now, the swimmer has asked his 10,000 Twitter followers to help give Brian a day to remember. Writing on the social network yesterday, he said: “RT & help me find 5yo Brian who sent me this amazing letter! I’d love to meet him and show him around where I train :-)” Within a few hours, the message had already been retweeted more than 1,000 times, fuelling hopes that Brian, or at least his parents, would be contacted.

Late yesterday afternoon, a woman called Claire messaged Murdoch on Twitter claiming to be the boy’s mother. Joe Welstead, director at Aegon Sports Management, which represents Murdoch, said: “We’re trying to contact her but she needs to follow Ross on Twitter before we can send her a direct message asking her to e-mail or call. We’re hoping to invite Brian to the pool in Stirling where Ross trains to meet him and get a wee picture.”

Outside of Scottish swimming circles, Murdoch was largely unknown in the lead-up to the Games, with Michael Jamieson, the Olympic silver medallist and poster boy for the sporting event, dominating coverage of the swimming events.

However, in a powerhouse display, Murdoch eclipsed his teammate and rival to take gold in the 200m breaststroke, with his shocked celebration afterwards endearing him to viewers at home.

Later, he went on to win a bronze medal in the 100m breaststroke, all but guaranteeing his status as a new home-

grown hero.

 

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