Andy Murray revives memory of Fred Perry’s win

Joan Graham watched Fred Perry win at Wimbledon as a teenager. Picture: PA
Joan Graham watched Fred Perry win at Wimbledon as a teenager. Picture: PA
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SUCH was the wait for a home triumph at Wimbledon, that few alive can remember the last time a British man held aloft the famous trophy.

But Joan Graham was among those in the crowd to see Fred Perry defeat Germany’s Baron Gottfried von Cramm in 1936 –the last British win in the male singles before Murray’s.

The 94-year-old, of St Boswells in the Borders, attended the match as a 17-year-old after completing her school exams.

“We were taken from school when we finished our exams,” she said. “We were all very excited. I can’t remember much of the details of the match, but I do remember it was a lovely sunny day.

“When Murray won I was absolutely thrilled. I had begun to wonder whether I would ever see anyone win it again, and then Murray came along.”

Mrs Graham’s son, Robert, said he had only realised his mother had been in the crowd for Perry’s win when she phoned him after Sunday’s final. “She mentioned it for the first time on Sunday night,” he said. “I don’t know if she’s unique, but there can’t be many people who were there that are still alive.

“I remember when we were children, it was always salads for dinner during Wimbledon fortnight because mum was so preoccupied with the tennis – and that was when it was only on the radio.”

A crowd of just under 10,000 seated and 3,600 standing fans watched Perry’s win, compared with about 16,000 who crowded into Centre Court on Sunday.

While Murray picked up prize money of £1.6 million, Perry won just £10.