Hero's welcome for Murray in Dunblane
Mon, 17 Sep 2012 6:43p.m.
By Shaun Summerfield
It has been 16 years since the Dunblane massacre thrust the Scottish town onto the world stage. Now Andy Murray has given Dunblane a whole new reason to be remembered.
However the two very different events have one thing in common.
Less than 9000 people live in Dunblane, but over 15,000 lined the streets of the Scottish town to give Murray a hero's welcome.
“I didn't obviously expect this many people to come. It's been amazing.”
The US Open and Olympic champion the boy from Dunblane has done his home town proud.
The close to five hours he took to defeat Novak Djokovic at Flushing Meadows was almost matched by a three-hour autograph signing marathon in his home town.
“This is where it all started, all of my family is here,” Murray says. “Whenever I’m playing tournaments they always tell me how supportive everybody is.”
The town though, will always be linked with the Dunblane massacre. In 1996 Thomas Hamilton shot dead 16 five-year-olds and their teacher in the Dunblane Primary School gym.
Eight-year-old Murray was in a nearby class room that day, and took cover behind a desk.
Even these days he is reluctant to talk about those events. But small towns being how they are, he knew the killer, attending a youth group run by Hamilton.
Now there are different memories for the children of Dunblane - golden memories - and inspiration from one of their own.
“These are the courts I grew up playing on, and when I come home and see this many kids on the courts, it is great.”
It took 76 years for Great Britain to find a grand slam winner, but you get the sense that in Dunblane, Murray's success means so much more.
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