Wimbledon: Is it Henman Hill or Murray Mound?

Fans cheer on Andy Murray from Henman Hill/Murray Mound. Picture: Getty

Fans cheer on Andy Murray from Henman Hill/Murray Mound. Picture: Getty

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He is one of Britain’s greatest ever tennis players, but it seems Andy Murray has a little more to do to win over the Wimbledon faithful where it matters - the naming of the famous SW19 hill.

Every year Aorangi Terrace - its formal name - becomes the focal point for thousands of people who want to lazily quaff Pimm’s and Champagne and nibble strawberries as they watch the action on the big screen next to Court 1.

For years it has been known as Henman Hill in honour of “Tiger Tim” reaching four semi-finals, but since the success of the Scot his fans have rebranded it Murray Mound.

Celebrities and fans visiting the All England Club were split between being traditionalists and modernists over the name.

And one woman had high demands from Murray to change her allegiance - that he wins three Wimbledon titles.

Anna Wilson, 36, a researcher from the Lake District, said: “It is Henman Hill. I am not ruling out that one day it could become Murray Mound but he is going to need more of a legacy. He is not there yet.

“He has made a very good start but I think the British want more from him. Henman brought British tennis back. To change it? At least maybe three Wimbledon titles.”

Murray himself shrugged off the idea that it may always be Henman Hill, joking: “Tim can have it, that’s fine. It’s not that important to me.”

But among tennis fans the debate raged.

Opera singer Katherine Jenkins was firmly in the Murray Mound camp.

She said: “I think Henman Hill was my era when I was younger but we’re all behind Murray now.”

And Hollywood actor Jude Law backed her up, saying: “It’s got to be Murray Mound. He’s a champion, he’s actually won the Championships - with no disrespect to Tim Henman, who I’ve met and is a lovely man.”

Welsh rugby star Dan Biggar was firmly on the traditionalists’ side, despite his youth.

The 26-year-old said: “I am still a Henman Hill man. I think Andy’s done okay for himself but I think keep Tim having the Henman Hill. I think Andy’s done all right.”

Line Of Duty actress Keeley Hawes, who attended on Wednesday with husband Matthew Macfayden, was also a fan of the old name, saying: “I’m a bit confused by Murray Mound, it doesn’t sound quite right.

“We were watching yesterday and I said, ‘Oh look, it’s Henman Hill’, and Matthew sort of put me straight. But I think that’s the traditionalists who call it Henman Hill.”

Lord Archer, the author and former politician, hedged his bets.

He said: “It’s a big discussion and the problem is that Henman Hill came first. I’m a traditionalist and I think it’s a little bit rough to dismiss someone because someone else better comes along.

“Perhaps there should be a Murray something else somewhere else, but I think it’s very hard on Mr Henman that he’s been removed.”

But BBC journalist Nick Robinson would not be swayed, saying: “It’s always going to be Henman Hill. My kids were here last week and they still talk about it as Henman Hill. Henman - it was created by and for him, wasn’t it.”

His ITV colleague Sir Trevor McDonald tried to have a foot in both camps.

He said: “I think we should find a way of combining it. I think we should call it Henman-Murray Hill, that would be a good idea.”

But Game Of Thrones star Charles Dance was firmly on the side of progression, saying: “Oh, I’m a modernist. Yes, absolutely. Either Murray Mound - or it’s in my sitting room, or it’s here.”

Fans on the hill itself were in the Henman camp, suggesting Murray has more to do to win their backing for a name change.

Jake Corbett, 43, a cameraman from Camden, north London, said: “Personally it’s Henman Hill, as that’s what I always remember it as.

“I think it’s quite funny because Henman never won anything but this is why his name is still in use so regularly.

“It is quite nice that it is Henman Hill - Murray has got enough. That is the name that was made up and changing doesn’t seem right.

Evelyn Humberstone, 77, a Glaswegian now living in Grimsby, said: “I am a Scot so I see it as Murray Mound. I don’t know what my husband says because he is English.”

There was a marital rift as husband Peter Humberstone, 80, countered: “I would call it Henman Hill, because I can remember it being named that in the first place. I suppose it has stuck.”

The name honouring Tim Henman is known far and wide.

Anne Bryant, 53, on holiday from Georgia in the US, said: “I think of it as Henman Hill - that is what it was originally named. It will always be that for me.”

The origins of the official name Aorangi date back to 1967. The All England Club bought 11 acres of land to the north of Centre Court from a Kensington company and granted a lease to the New Zealand Sports and Social Club, who named it Aorangi Park.

Aorangi, meaning ‘Cloud in the Sky’, is the Maori name for New Zealand’s highest peak, Mount Cook.

READ MORE - Andy Murray beats Tomas Berdych to reach Wimbledon final

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