The absolute fucking maddest thing I have read on social networks for a good while is people wondering why Andy Murray was in tears when announcing he is going to retire from tennis. “How can he cry? He’s a multimillionaire.” Has it not occurred to some people, those who revel in someone else’s disappointment and distress, that perhaps Murray is upset that he is no longer to do what he loves to do?
That Andy Murray is a very wealthy young man is not in doubt. But he didn’t just inherit his wealth. He worked himself to the (hip) bone in order to become the best tennis player in the world. At a time when the game was blessed with giants like Jokavic, Federer and Nadal, he still managed to win three majors, countless other tournaments and some Olympic gold medals. That he was rewarded with large sums of money that he did not squirrel away in, say, Switzerland or Monaco (some random examples there) should surely elicit the comment, fair play that man.
I was one of the idiots who decried Murray when, as a young man, he made a joke about England losing at football. He spent years living with that and I am very sorry I was so stupid as to berate him. If anyone needed to grow up at the time, it wasn’t him.
How about the greatest Scottish and British tennis player of all time? I know it is hard to compare eras but I can’t think of anyone who even comes close. I grew to love his sheer hunger, commitment and hard work, not to mention the skills you acquire when you work as hard as he does. So, he ranted and raved a bit on court. Well, so what? This is competitive sport. Do you really want some automaton who is happy to acquiesce when he is up against it or would you prefer someone who gives it everything he has? This, unless you are Bjorn Borg, will require emotion. Murray has emotion in spades.
Mocking Murray’s success is the British disease, the idea that being the best you can be and becoming wealthy as a result is something to be frowned upon and jealous of. Much better in divided and broken Britain to encourage a race to the bottom. I don’t buy that.
If any sportsman deserves a gong, it’s Sir Andrew Murray. It is entirely possible we will never see another British tennis player like him but if we are to, the powers-that-be must ensure that he is not lost to the game. He is a role model, he is an inspiration, he is a great athlete.
And let’s not forget Murray the man, who took on a female coach Amelie Mauresmo and has always been a strong supporter of equality in the world of tennis. He’s a great player and a great human being. You don’t have to like him but if you don’t admire him, or still feel bitter about something he said about the England football team when he was young, I feel very sorry for you.