Trappings and tradition pale beside force of Murray’s will

Great Britain's Andy Murray celebrates with his trophy after defeating Serbia's Novak Djokovic during day thirteen of the Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday July 7, 2013. See PA story TENNIS Wimbledon. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire. 'RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No video emulation. No use with any unofficial third party logos.
Great Britain's Andy Murray celebrates with his trophy after defeating Serbia's Novak Djokovic during day thirteen of the Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday July 7, 2013. See PA story TENNIS Wimbledon. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire. 'RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No video emulation. No use with any unofficial third party logos.
0
Have your say

This ought to be a column with a bit of a sneer. A column that looks at the flag-waving-strawberries-and-fedoras-fest of Wimbledon and rears up.

One that questions our collective hysteria over a Scotsman winning a tennis tournament and our willingness to give it the royal wedding treatment as we gush as one in praise of our new champion, the first British player to win Wimbledon in shorts.

Look at the crowd. There’s David Cameron looking smug - does he have any another look? Rooney with his new hair, Posh Spice in her shades, and Gerard Butler and his mate Bradley Cooper in matching jackets enjoying the refreshment as much as the tennis.

It ought to be enough to make us barf as the establishment edifice sits up like a badly-judged lob and asks to be smashed.

But I can’t do it.

I don’t have a cynical or contrary thought to offer after watching Andy Murray beat Novak Djokovic in Virginia-Wade-‘77-style atmosphere and summer-of-‘76-style weather.

Brilliant, breathless and absolutely compelling. It doesn’t matter what surrounds it, it makes no difference.

All the pomp and hoo-ha, all the BBC window-dressing and hyperbole makes the tournament mean even more for millions watching around the country and that’s what annoys the irritable minority.

But in the end theirs is an argument easy to dismiss.

Strip away the VIP trappings and the over-glorification of tradition, Ignore the billion dollar TV audience figures and the flim-flammery of the elite’s social scene.

Sport is truth, it doesn’t care who you are or where you’ve come from. It only cares what you can do.

That’s why we love it so and that’s why Murray is rightly hailed a hero.

There were times on Sunday when his will to win was almost supernatural. Moments in each set when the world could see that the irrepressible tide of his will, energy and ability would not be denied. You don’t have to love the trappings and traditions, nor do you have to embrace the nationalism that attends such occasions.

But, if you love sport, and love life, you do have to salute Andrew Barron Murray, Wimbledon Gentlemen’s Singles Champion.