By Cara Sulieman & Martin Graham
BRAVE Andy Murray still had the backing of his adoring home fans tonight despite his disappointing defeat at the hands of Rafael Nadal.
And they are convinced he WILL win Wimbledon one day.
In the local bars a huge cheer went up as soon as Andy took first blood when the game got underway shortly before 4pm.
But even though joy soon turned to despair less than two and a half hours later, they were still hugely proud of Dunblane’s favourite son.
Ann McGillvary, 51, a housewife, thinks Murray deserves to win for his sheer grit.
She said: “I’m disappointed he didn’t win. He’s worked hard for it. He’s certainly got the hunger for it.
“I think he got a tough ride to get there past Nadal.
“It would be great for Scotland to have a Wimbledon winner one day.”
Sri Lankan born fan Shakila Saparamadu, 27, who lives in the town with boyfriend Chris Lynch, 40, said: “We won’t give him up.”
And Chris added: “I think he can do it, he’s been getting closer and closer.
“He has more strength now. It will come another year.”
The streets were all but deserted as Murray made his bid for a first Wimbledon final.
Alex Phillips runs the television shop Burgess and Gibson on the high street in Dunblane and was left watching the match on his own as the streets of the small town cleared when Murray took to Centre court.
The 62-year-old said: “We’ve got no customers. Everyone’s been at home watching the match.
“A woman was in buying a USB stick and saw Andy on the TV.
“She said ‘oh it’s started. I better get home and watch it’.
“Then she scurried out the door and was away.
“I don’t mind.”
He added: “I really think he’s still got the potential to win the tournament. He’s a great player and has been getting better every year.
“You’ve got to support the local lad.”
IT director John Gilpin, 45, from Norfolk, said the English would continue to claim Andy as their own despite the defeat.
He laughed: “There’s always good banter about where sports people come from.
“Andy can definitely go on to win Wimbledon.”
Julie Williams, 46, an accounts manager, also from Norfolk, said: “Andy is a great example to young people, it encourages children to join in at sports with their national hero.
“We need more rising stars to set a good example.”
Everywhere in the town it seemed someone was showing off a poster or a ‘Murray Mask’.
All the shops in the small town were showing their support for star even as he lost the first set 6-4.
John Hill butchers on the High Street were selling Murray burgers and had made Andy’s face out of sausage meat.
John Hill explained: “The guys were making sliced sausage downstairs and they were taking ages.
“When I went to see what was going on they showed me Andy’s face made of sausage meat.
“We’ve got the Murray burgers again this year which are low in fat like the man himself.”
Further down the high street Alex Keay at the Mary’s Meals charity shop was selling Murray masks to enthusiastic fans.
Alex said: “Since the tennis is on I thought I would make some masks to create a bit of excitement and atmosphere.”
In the baking hot sun, school children from the town played on the very same tennis courts where Andy honed his skills, perhaps hoping that one say they could follow in his footsteps.
Twins Kate and Jack Stirling, nine, who both attend Dunblane Primary School, worship their tennis hero and have been taking lessons.
Their mum Louise, 47, said: “We’ve all been cheering for Andy – we’re very proud of him.”
Friends Claire Tunaley, 18, and Emmelyn Van Zanten, 19, were also rooting for Murray to take the crown one day.
Claire said: “Andy has a chance of winning – hopefully he’ll do it. He’s our boy and were behind him 100 per cent.”
Emmelyn added: “He’s very good. I think he will win one day.”
But one visitor to the quiet town was never convinced Murray would make the grade.
Martin Currid, 59, from Sligo in Ireland, had been visiting for his daughter Holly’s graduation.
He said: “I don’t know if he can do it – but Murray is still better than Tim Henman ever was.”