Andy Murray: Brit wins Wimbledon – and why the Brits should ‘own’ it

July 8, 2013 10:39 am

murray-wins-wimbledonIt has been seventy-seven years since our last win on our own turf in a sport that our weather barely supports. Luckily, the sun shone on us this year in more ways than one.

The golden child of Dunblane, Andy Murray, takes home the magnificent cup, after an incredibly tense and nerve-wracking match, watched on by proud mum and ecstatic wife.

This is a good chance for the Brits to celebrate. Our sad pessimism, which makes anticipating winning anything parallel to a hushed sin amongst our countrymen and women, saw us vote, via Daily Mail on a ratio of 2:1 to the Scot losing the final.

But instead, the humble and talented son of the United Kingdom made good and we break a string of losses, last interrupted by the great Fred Perry.

andy-murray-wimbledon

How lovely, I thought. But instantly, some people jumped on Facebook, twitter, and various other forums, to throw in the usual grim responses that equate to trolling-without-knowing-it.

Yes, the British should own Murray’s win. He is British. He is Scottish. He is both. Not one or the other. It’s not more to our shame simply because he’s not English.

Who is English, after all? Our bloodline has been so intermingled with Viking invasions, Norman conquests, Romany gypsy and other foreign integration, how does one define how English one is?

My forebears, as dictated by my original surname – Graham – were Scottish. My great grandfather was fully Welsh. One of my mother’s ancestors was supposedly an outcast Jew. My other half’s ancestry is a mixture of Romany and southern English. Do we list these things when we tell people where we are from? No, of course not. We are no different, no worse, no better than any other person on this comparatively small and complex island. We are proud to be British. Our history is so rich and diverse and today, one of our own, who comes from Scotland, won Wimbledon.

7 7 bombings londonDid we not all mourn those who died, regardless of where they were born and who they were in their day to day lives, on the bus and Piccadilly line bombed eight years ago yesterday? We own them, for our shared sadness and devastation at their loss, the same way we rejoice that Murray was victorious today. A strange comparison? Is it really? Ask yourself again, when do you call things British, and when do you cordon things off; refusing to own them in your patriotism?

Get over the differences. Get over the accent. Get over your own pessimism and your frustration with things that you couldn’t do if you tried ten times as hard as some of these people. Be proud that you were represented and triumphed today.

British. From shore to shore, no matter where your grandparents and parents came from.

Well done, Andy!!!

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