SW19 Diary: Murray divides opinion into two opposed camps

The campers in the park opposite the All England Club yesterday included a mother and daughter, Viv and Natalie Keen, part of the 13-strong group that heads the queue for today. The fans, who all know each other from previous years' queuing, began to assemble at 11am on Friday.

"We've been doing this for 20 years and I've never seen it so busy," said Viv, 58, a wedding video editor from Stanmore, north London.

The SW19 Diary asks whether this is down to the "Murray effect". Viv says: "A lot of our group aren't supporting him, in fact actively supporting whoever he is playing. I'm not a big fan of his myself. I didn't like his comments about not supporting England. Why should we support him? I admire good tennis, though, and he does play good tennis."

Natalie, 35, a sales trainer from Edgware, London, does support Murray. "I claim him as British," she says. "I want him to do well, although I'm not actually going to see the tennis."

Eh? "The queuing, for me, is the best part of it," she adds. "When the others go in the gate, I'll go home. It's 72 quid to get in [Centre Court] and if you don't like the tennis itself that much, it's a lot. I've had a great time, though."

Viv and Natalie tell the Diary about queuing etiquette, and how one pair of "campers" will be shopped to the stewards for erecting a tent and then not sleeping in it. "Against the rules," says Viv. "People power will get them thrown out the line when they reappear," says Natalie. "The democracy of this place is an amazing part of why it's so special," says Viv.

The Diary soon locates Murray fans. A few places up the line, we find Colette Bennion (below, on the left in front of the Saltire) and Susan Pennington (right). Both English, they live in Cheshire and Edinburgh respectively. Colette teaches radiography and Susan is a sonographer. "I'm British more than English, and Andy Murray's British too," says Colette. "He's our best hope of winning Wimbledon in years; he's committed, his work ethic is amazing. Where he needed to improve, he did it, technically, physically, mentally. He persevered. He's motivated. Why wouldn't you support him?"

The Diary could not agree more.

Just what do the English have against Andy?

The Diary is inundated with press releases plugging trash and selling rubbish.

Such products won't ever get mentions here unless: a) your PR guff is accompanied with a hefty cash bung in a brown envelope, or; b) your bumf is just so out there that it begs inclusion. Sunbaba's "really great-looking scrim" last week fell into this category. Today, though, we seek all or any PR puffery (especially from universities/ psychologists/behavioural researchers) that might help us answer the following. Why is Andy Murray seemingly not as appreciated by Britain at large as Chris Hoy? Is it really because of one long-ago quip – and a wholly understandable one, at that – about not supporting England? Answers in a thesis to n.harris@independent.co.uk

Have-a-go hero sees honour is upheld

More hero news from the Honorary Stewards: one of them broke up a big fight between youths in Car Park 10 one night late last week. He put one kid who had been badly bloodied in the recovery position, called the police and an ambulance, and restored peace single-handed. This is stiff-upper-lippery of the highest order, and one of the reasons that Wimbledon is such a class event.

Judy's vehicle to success

On the subject of Murrays, Andy's mum Judy has had her car searched by security men in Car Park 10, where it costs £25 a day to park. Double whammy or what?

Judy, like Oscar Wilde, had nothing to declare but her genius.

BUY WIMBLEDON TICKETS

Suggested Topics
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
Tate Sensorium: New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art

Tate Sensorium

New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art
10 best sun creams for kids

10 best sun creams for kids

Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
Ashes 2015: Nice guy Steven Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

Nice guy Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

He was man-of-the-match in the third Test following his recall to the England side
Ashes 2015: Remember Ashton Agar? The No 11 that nearly toppled England

Remember Ashton Agar?

The No 11 that nearly toppled England
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks