In pictures: Andy Murray’s home town of Dunblane rallies behind local boy made good
THE streets of Dunblane emptied yesterday as locals gathered to cheer on their homegrown hero. The handful of pubs and hotels were crammed as the town came to a standstill to watch Murray’s first Wimbledon final.
Even before the match started it was standing room only wherever the match was being shown. There was so much local support dozens of people unable to get into the pubs and hotels lined the streets to peer at the screens inside.
Screams of “let’s go Andy, let’s go” echoed from venues screening the game. One of the busiest spots was the town’s community centre where more than 200 people were gathered.
Huge “good luck” banners hung from the centre’s ceiling as people huddled together to watch. Children lined the front rows waving banners reading “go Andy” each time he won a point.
Stewart Prodger, a centre trustee, said: “The atmosphere here has been amazing. Hundreds of Dunblane families came together to cheer themselves hoarse for their local hero.
“Winning would have been wonderful but getting to the final is an incredible achievement and we are all immensely proud of him.”
He added: “The Murray family have given us generous support and have donated tickets for us to take youth club members and volunteers to the David Cup. They are a great family, from a great town.”
Eleven-year-old schoolgirl Maija Nicol ran a make-shift tuck shop in the centre to raise money for the community facility.
She said: “Andy played his best today and I loved screaming him on for three hours. I am very proud to come from Dunblane and not many town’s have an Andy Murray.”
The schoolgirl told how Judy Murray had visited Dunblane Primary School last year to teach the children how to play tennis and took 30 pupils to the Davis Cup at Glasgow’s Braehead arena.
Maija said: “We all got to meet Andy and Judy and get their autographs. He was so nice, He is kind of shy and quiet. But he was really, really nice.”
Her mother Catriona said she was not surprised by the amount of support for the star.
The ambulance co-ordinator said: “We came here for the atmosphere and for the sense of community spirit.”
The party mode continued in the town centre where pubs had to turn people away because they were full.
The Village Inn gave away plates of strawberries and cream. Jenny Morrison, 46, said: “I am sure most of us would rather be down at Wimbledon to cheer him on but this is the next best thing.
“It is great, but not surprising to so many people here and everywhere, coming together to back our boy.”
Posters of the tennis hero were emblazoned on windows throughout the town.
From cafes and chemists to laundrettes and gift shops, huge messages of good luck had been stuck on windows and doors.
Locals draped themselves in the Saltire and had ‘Go Andy’ painted on their faces.
Mother-of-five Veronica Scott walked through the streets with a large painting of Murray, which she had painted just hours before the game.
The housewife said: “I got up at 5am to do this to show my support for Andy. It took me about six hours to do.”
The acrylic painting showed Andy in his now trademark pose from this year’s Wimbledon – with him looking upwards with both hands pointing to the sky.
Dozens of youngsters aspiring to emulate their hero spent the day playing tennis at the club where Murray first learnt to play.
Club chairman Neil Welsh told how Andy’s brother Jamie and grandmother, Shirley, were regulars.
He said: “Jamie comes here a lot and helps out and he sometimes plays games with the youngsters who obviously just love that.
“Andy’s grandmother comes here every Saturday and serves up tea and cakes. She is a volunteer and does not get paid for it, she does it to support the club.
“The Murrays are just so supportive of all we do here and very much part of the club.
“There is absolutely no ego with them, they just get on with things and do all they can to help.”
The club put on free drinks for locals and served up slices of a huge cake decorated with a Union flag to the 100 people who packed into the clubhouse.
Dunblane also welcomed a number of visitors who had chosen to watch the game in the town where the tennis ace grew up. James Gray had travelled from Perth with three friends to watch the match in the town’s Tappit Hen pub.
He said: “We thought it was the place to be. The only place to be. Rather than watch it at home we wanted to come and show our support and cheer Andy on among people who know him.”
“He is doing Scotland proud and we are with him all the way.”
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Thursday 23 May 2013
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