Judy Murray remembers Dunblane massacre: ‘I was driving there, thinking I might not see my children again’

The tennis coach relives the Dunblane shootings and reveals how narrowly her sons escaped

Judy Murray has described how narrowly her sons, Andy and Jamie, escaped death during the Dunblane massacre on 13 March 1996.

Gunman Thomas Hamilton broke into the primary school gymnasium armed with four handguns and 700 rounds of ammunition and began shooting at a class of four and five-year-olds. Sixteen children were murdered along with their teacher.

Andy Murray’s class had been on their way to the gym when the assailant broke in. Someone heard a noise and went to investigate. The children were told to go to the headmaster and deputy headmaster’s studies instead. The Wimbledon champion was eight at the time.

“They were told to sit down below the windows and they were singing songs,” Judy Murray recalled.

“The teachers and dinner ladies did an amazing job, containing all these children, feeding them, and getting them out without them being aware of what had happened. I don’t know how they managed it.”

The tennis coach was with her mother in the toy shop that she ran in the town when she heard that there had been a shooting in the school.

“I picked up my car keys – didn’t take my bag or jacket or anything – and just ran out,” she told the Radio Times.

“I was driving there, thinking I might not see my children again.”

When she arrived at the school, she was met with a “shocked, quiet” from other parents who were waiting outside the gates. Murray remembers the relief and guilt she felt when she was finally told that her sons were safe.

“I don’t know if I have survivor’s guilt, but I had an awful moment then when I was so relieved it wasn’t my kids,” she said. “And then feeling terrible.”

The new issue of Radio Times, in which Judy Murray recalls her memories of Dunblane She told her young sons what had happened on the way home in the car.

“It turned out they knew the guy,” she said. “They had been to the boys’ clubs he ran locally at the high school. I knew him, too – I’d given him lifts from the boys’ clubs to the station. He was a bit of an odd bod, but I wouldn’t have thought he was dangerous. So he’d been in my car.”

Last year, the tennis player broke down in tears after being asked to recall his memories of the Dunblane shooting for a BBC documentary.

“You have no idea how tough something like that is,” he said. “It wasn't until a few years ago that I started to actually research it and look into it.”

Read more: Andy Murray confirms the appointment of new coach
Murray weighs in on Scottish independence
Judy Murray: More than a tennis mum
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events business) - Central Manchester - £20K

£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events busi...

Recruitment Genius: Project Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This privately-owned company designs and manuf...

Recruitment Genius: Human Resources Officer

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen at th...

Ashdown Group: HR Manager - London - £40,000 + Bonus

£36000 - £40000 per annum + Bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...

Day In a Page

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...