An emotional Andy Murray accepts the freedom of Stirling
“It feels good to be home”
Andy Murray struggled to hold back the tears earlier this week as he accepted the freedom of Stirling at an emotional ceremony in his hometown of Dunblane.
The Wimbledon champ was given the award at a special meeting of Stirling council in Dunblane High school, where Murray once studied.
Murray, 26, is only the fifth recipient of the prestigious award, which is the greatest civic honour that the council can confer.
In an introduction for the Olympic gold medallist the council described Murray as “An inspiration to us all”.
In the short but poignant speech Murray said “I’m going to keep this very short because its likely I’ll get emotional.
“I’d like to thank the council for voting me in, I was expecting a few ‘No’s! I’d like to thank all my family and friends and girlfriend for coming to support me.”
Murray paused, appearing to fight back the tears after catching the eye of his also emotional girlfriend, Kim Sears. He continued: “I think everyone knows I’m extremely proud of where I come from, so this is a huge honour for me.”
The short and sweet speech received a standing ovation from the crowd including school students and 200 local residents who took part in a ballot to win tickets.
Shortly after the ceremony, Murray returned for a brief press conference where he explained what had made him so emotional.
“Moving away was one of the most difficult sacrifices I’ve had to make for my career. You spend a lot of time on the road – tennis can be quite lonely sometimes, but it was a decision that had to be made if I wanted to achieve my goal.”
Reflecting on his success, Murray said “It’s a strange story, but shows that anything can happen if you believe and you dream and work hard, then you can achieve whatever you want.”
Before leaving Murray stopped to sign autographs and take selfies with students and a few less professional journalists…
In a packed schedule, Murray also stopped by Wallace high school for a Q&A session before heading over to Stirling University to receive an honorary doctorate.
On receiving his doctorate from the University, Murray remarked: “I know there are many talented junior players practising there every day and I’d encourage them to keep working hard toward their goals.”
Murray ended his homecoming with a visit to his newly opened Cromlix hotel in Perth. With the Victorian £1.8 million property already getting rave reviews from critics, no wonder Murray said “It’s good to be home”.