Wimbledon to honour Sir Andy Murray with a statue

Andy Murray. Picture: PA
Andy Murray. Picture: PA
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He’s been knighted by Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace, had a Lego minifigure created in his honour and even had burgers and meat pies decorated with his initials on the pastry to celebrate his latest victories by a butcher in his small Scottish hometown.

Now Sir Andy Murray is to receive the ultimate accolade as befits his status as one of the true champions of world tennis by having a statue created in his honour at Wimbledon.

Philip Brook, Wimbledon chairman, who will be leaving his job at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club at the end of the year, announced news of the project at a farewell briefing on Wednesday.

However Mr Brooks, who has cited Murray’s historic 2013 singles victory – the first by a British male for 77 years - as the highlight of his nine-year term, said the statue would not be unveiled until after Murray announces his retirement.

He said that Murray, 32, who grew up in Dunblane, near Stirling, had not yet been consulted or asked to pose for a sculptor.

“Our thought all along is that we want to recognise Andy’s significant achievements here at Wimbledon.

“We don’t want to retire him too early, so we wouldn’t unveil it until after he’s finished.

“But it’s something we are doing for him, as we did with Fred Perry and the other busts around the site.”

In January the stars of the world of sport, ranging from tennis and football to golf, as well as fans and members of the public paid tribute to Murray, winner of three-time Grand Slams, two Olympic golds and the Davis Cup, after he admitted his playing career could be coming to an end due to a hip injury.

Speaking in the build-up to his first-round match at the Australian Open in January, Murray said that his plan was to finish playing after this year’s Wimbledon but that he feared he would not make it that far.

Billie Jean King, a winner of 12 Grand Slam singles titles, said: “You are a champion on and off the court. Your greatest impact on the world may be yet to come.”

Hibs boss Neil Lennon said: “Andy Murray is an inspiration and a role model...I hope he’s able to finish an incredible career on his terms. Everyone at Hibernian Football Club is rooting for him.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, joining in the accolades describing Murray as a “legend” and “one of Scotland’s greatest ever sportsmen.”

But Murray defied the odds and, after a hip resurfacing operation, has made a comeback to the court.

Earlier this week he partnered Serena Williams in the mixed doubles before being knocked out by mixed seeds Bruno Soares and Nicole Melichar.

Speaking after the match Murray fielded questions about his health, saying: “I think I achieved a lot, I think, considering the lack of matches, I did okay.

“The most positive thing is that my hip felt good.

“It’s a lot of physical work now trying to get stronger really, get a good balance with all the muscles around my hip.

“I’m going some physical testing next week. I did some pre-Queen’s.

“It will be interesting to see how things have progressed or not. But I’ve still got, like I said, quite a long way to go.”