Twitter fan Andy Murray is 'a real role model for our country' says Wigan striker Shaun Maloney

The pair played each other at tennis when they were younger

“Used to play tennis against shaun maloney... Pretty cool watching him play in fa cup final a few years later!”

Having won the FA Cup Shaun Maloney was already in a very good mood when he was informed by the media, in the bowels of Wembley on Saturday night, that the world's third best tennis player had tweeted how 'cool' it was watching him playing at Wembley.

"I didn't know he had tweeted about me so that's pretty nice," said Maloney before explaining "[Andy Murray] is a few years younger so we were different age groups - he was 9 or ten and I was about 13 - but I remember him being very talented. Your paths cross because he was so young and playing in the regionals. He's a real role model for our country. For a smaller nation to say we have one of best in world at something its pretty inspiring for other athletes.

Maloney quit the circuit, he said, because "I was nothing of note - sort of regional level - and I then got called up to Celtic. That was my team and I was a little bit better at football. I still love watching tennis - I've been to watch Murray at the 02."

Maloney has since made a name for himself with 27 Scottish caps, five Scottish titles and the Scottish players' union player of the year award, but he said winning the FA Cup with Wigan was as good as it got. 

"Its just incredible," he said. "I don't think it's sunk in yet. I am sure it will in a few days or weeks but I never allowed myself to think what we would do if we won. It is very difficult to describe the joy and relief when the final whistle goes.

"Winning the league with the team you support is pretty special, but in terms of the size of club this has to be up there with anything I've achieved in the game. At Celtic there was desperation to win so your rivals don't - but here it was just the joy of our own club winning and creating history. I doubt it will be forgotten - I hope in years to come another Wigan side will win it, but at this present time it feels pretty special to be the first."

Maloney took the corner from which Ben Watson scored the winner but admitted, "I didn't pick him out - I just put the ball into an area where people can go and head the ball, to give us a chance we might get a goal. He's attacked it, got a glancing header on it and it's a marvellous goal.

"It's an incredible story for Ben to come back from injury and score the winner in an FA Cup Final like that. It is difficult for a professional footballer to be out for a long period of time. There's the first night in the hospital after breaking his leg and the impact it has on not just him but his family too. Then there's the work that goes in; there is some tedious work for months on end and it can be a pretty lonely place to be. I'm just delighted for him."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Extras
indybest
Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum