Andy Murray

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Andy awarded the Freedom of Stirling

Andy awarded the Freedom of Stirling

Andy Murray has been awarded the freedom of Stirling in a visit to the area in which he grew up.

The Wimbledon Champion became a freeman of the city at a special meeting of Stirling Council in Dunblane High School.

He is also set to receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Stirling, where he once trained, among a number of other awards.

The 26-year-old said he was “honoured and excited” to receive the awards.

Murray will also take part in a question and answer session with school children and a live online audience from Wallace High School in Stirling later.

He grew up in Dunblane, which is about three miles north of the city of Stirling.

In a busy day around his home area, he will also visit the Cromlix hotel, which he recently bought and redeveloped, and receive an award from Tennis Scotland.

‘Inspirational figure’

Murray became only the third freeman of Stirling in a ceremony at his former high school.

He said: “I’m honoured and excited to receive the freedom of Stirling. I’m also really looking forward to visiting my hometown and my old school. It will be great to share this special day with everyone, especially the local school children.

“Stirling prides itself on being the City for Sport and it would be great if young people felt inspired to pick up a tennis racket – or any piece of sporting equipment – and pursue their dreams.”

The meeting was watched by school pupils and about 200 local residents who took part in a ballot for tickets for the event.

Stirling Provost Mike Robbins said there was great interest locally in Murray, an “inspirational figure at the top of his game”.

And Frank Lennon, Dunblane High School head teacher, added: “It is appropriate that this ceremony is taking place in the Murray Hall, named so before any Grand Slams or Olympic gold medals were won.

“In this sense, the school recognises the aspiration, dedication, effort and family support that has characterised Andy Murray’s success. These are ideals to genuinely inspire our young people.”

Murray, who is also the Olympic singles champion and won the US Open in 2012, is to become a Doctor of the University of Stirling in recognition of his services to tennis.

He said: “I trained on the courts at the Scottish national tennis centre at the University of Stirling when I was growing up and I remember playing against the students, which was great fun.

“I know there are many talented junior players practising there every day and I’d encourage them to keep working hard toward their goals.”