Judy Murray: My boys have helped Dunblane recover from tragedy


ANDY Murray’s mother has said the success of her tennis-playing sons has helped Dunblane recover from the massacre of 16 children.

Judy Murray said people no longer automatically thought of tragedy when they heard the town’s name but of Andy Murray.

Murray told the New York Times: “From time to time, there are anniversaries of what happened. And sometimes you meet, still, in the supermarkets, some of the parents who lost their children.

“You do realize how close Andy came, because his class was on their way to the gym. They were the next class in the gym the day that it happened.”

She added: “But I do think the success that Andy and Jamie have had has helped the town a lot, because it’s something that brings the town together.

‘‘The support for them, particularly when a Grand Slam is on, is just incredible.

“The times he’s been to the semis or finals of Slams, it’s almost like one big massive street party.

“It’s amazing and I think when people say Dunblane now, you don’t automatically think of the tragedy. You think, that’s where Andy Murray is from, and it’s maybe associated Dunblane with something that’s more happy and positive.”

Murray, who must beat David Ferrer tomorrow (Friday) to reach the final of the Australian Open, grew up in Dunblane.

He was a pupil at the town’s primary school when, in March 1996, Thomas Hamilton killed 16 children and their teacher before turning his gun on himself.

Judy Murray, who is in Australia, said in the same interview that Andy owed some of his success to his elder brother Jamie, a doubles specialist.

“I think Andy benefited enormously from having a big brother who was very gifted as a youngster,” she said.

“The first overseas tournament Andy went to, he was 9 and Jamie went as well,” she said.

“It was an under-11 tournament in France, and Andy got to the semifinal and lost in three long sets to Gaël Monfils, and Jamie got to the final and beat Monfils. And the whole way back home, Andy was saying, ‘You only won because I tired him out for you!’ It was just hilarious.”

She added: “When it was winter, he and Jamie would line up all their little trophies and things across the middle of the living room, and that would be their net.

“I was nothing special as a player, but I loved the game and was very competitive, and when the boys showed some signs of promise I guess I tried to create the right opportunities for them.”

Of her own ongoing role in the boys’ careers, she said: “It’s more handling the things that they can’t be bothered handling, behind-the-scenes stuff, the business side of it.

“It’s managing Andy’s tennis staff, making sure they are in the right place at the right time.

“It’s also not cool to have your mum hanging around.”