Andy Murray given 'freedom of the city' in Stirling

The British number one will be only the third person to be handed the honour

Paul Newman
Tuesday 22 April 2014 18:28
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From Wednesday morning Andy Murray will have the right to march through the city of Stirling with “drums beating, colours flying and bayonets fixed”. The 26-year-old Scot will be awarded the freedom of the city at a special meeting of Stirling Council at Dunblane High School.

Murray, who was born in Dunblane, will be only the third individual to be given the freedom of Stirling since it was granted city status in 2002. He follows Lieutenant Colonel Francis William Saunders, a Second World War veteran who became Scotland's oldest serving politician when he served on Stirling Council at the age of 94, and Irvin Iffla, a Jamaican cricketer who joined Stirling County Cricket Club as a professional in 1951 and went on to play in Scotland for 43 years.

Hundreds of local residents entered a ballot for tickets to attend today's ceremony and 200 of them will witness the presentation by Stirling's Provost, Mike Robbins. "Andy is an inspirational figure," Robbins said. "It's no surprise there's so much interest in him."

A busy day for Murray will see the Wimbledon champion take part in a question-and-answer session with children at another local school. He will also be presented with an award by Tennis Scotland and a doctorate by the University of Stirling. As a youngster Murray trained at the Scottish National Tennis Centre, which is based at the university.

Meanwhile Greg Rusedski is to coach Kyle Edmund, who has emerged as Britain's best up-and-coming player. Rusedski worked with 19-year-old Edmund when he was captain of Britain's junior Davis Cup team.

Michael Downey, the new chief executive of the Lawn Tennis Association, believes that some young British players might benefit from having a tougher time in tennis. "We need to make them hungry," Downey told a media briefing in London. "We are competing with countries where, whether you want to admit it or not, for some of these kids it's about getting a better life. It's not just about succeeding in tennis.

Novak Djokovic, who said last week that he was taking a break "for some time" because of a wrist injury, hopes to return in next month's Madrid Masters. The world No 2 said the injury was not as bad as he first feared. He has been assured by doctors that he will be fit to play in next month's Masters Series tournaments in Madrid and Rome, which are the last big competitions before the French Open starting in less than five weeks' time.

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