LONDON (AFP) – British tennis star Andy Murray is unsurprisingly a hero to the children of his former alma mater Dunblane Primary School and they were ecstatic to play host to the Wimbledon trophy he won last year on Monday.
The 30-year-old Scot — who will defend his title in a fortnight s time — was present with his older brother and top doubles player Jamie at the school s darkest hour on March 13 1996.
On that day, gunman Thomas Hamilton attacked the school, shooting dead 16 children — all bar one aged five years old — and a teacher.
Andy Murray was guided to the headmaster s study whilst Jamie was in a pre-fab schoolroom and thought the shooting noise was someone using a hammer, according to their mother Judy.
However, Monday saw a much more august occasion and the sight of the trophy — one that Murray has won twice — had the headteacher Sarah Starrs and her pupils brimming with pride.
“We re absolutely delighted to be hosting the trophy here today,” said Starrs.
“Andy is a former pupil and when we were asked by Jaguar if we would host this morning s event, we couldn t accept quick enough.
“We re absolutely delighted to do that for our children. Andy is a true inspiration to our children.
“He s shown what, with dedication, hard work and commitment, you can achieve. He is a local hero.
“We will all be cheering and willing Andy on, and hopefully he will bring that cup home for a third time this year.”
Pupils were equally taken by the appearance of the trophy with 11-year-old Kirsty Reid remarking on how shiny it was — classmate Catriona Kane though encapsulating what the day meant to them.
“It was a memorable morning. We will remember it for the rest of our lives,” she said.