Andy Murray fans hope for golden moment at Olympics

Royal Mail's Tina Hollinsworth with the gold postbox and new stamp
Royal Mail's Tina Hollinsworth with the gold postbox and new stamp
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THOUSANDs of Andy Murray fans are expected to turn out to venues across the city to cheer on the tennis ace in the 
Olympic men’s final.

Murray, who trained from the age of nine at Craiglockhart Tennis Club in the Capital, swept past Novak Djokovic to set up a final with Roger Federer tomorrow.

It was standing room only at Festival Square earlier this year when an estimated 600 watched last month’s Wimbledon four-set final between the two.

Hundreds are now expected to cram the city’s bars and pubs in the hope of seeing Murray clinch Olympic gold.

Charlie Graham, bar manager of Hamilton’s in Stockbridge, is hoping for another bumper day.

He said: “The place was mobbed for the Wimbledon final and we would expect the same again. The last time we had Andy Murray-themed Pimms cocktails, so we’ll be getting them back out, and we may even have some strawberries and cream.

“It should be a great match regardless, but I’ve a feeling that he will go all the way this time.”

Murray will be looking to draw inspiration from his fellow Olympians, Capital pair Sir Chris Hoy and rower Katherine Grainger.

Former Edinburgh University alumnus Grainger finally broke her Olympic duck and bagged gold yesterday, after successive silvers in the last three Games.

She said: “It was worth the wait. I feel this medal, of all of them, is the people’s medal. I feel so many people have been behind me and supported me and wanted this for me as much as I have.”

It came as Sir Chris Hoy pedalled his way into the history books by scooping his fifth gold and sixth Olympic medal, making him the UK’s greatest ever Olympian. City councillors have already revealed plans to honour him with the Freedom of Edinburgh – an accolade which has only been bestowed three times in 20 years – to Sir Sean Connery in 1991, Nelson Mandela in 1997 and Aung San Suu Kyi in 2005.

More than 3200 people have so far supported a call on the Evening News facebook page to grant Hoy the honour.

The race, which saw him equal Sir Steve Redgrave’s haul of five golds, was watched by over eight million people in the UK, and yesterday the Royal Mail unveiled a golden postbox on Hanover Street, painted to mark the achievement. Hoy and his teammates have also been immortalised on a special Royal Mail stamp.

Sir Chris’ cousin, Jenny Hoy, from Portobello, said: “It’s amazing to think that he’s the greatest ever British Olympian, it’s testament to his hard work and dedication.”

Another Capital Olympian who has been in action of late is judo star and Royal Marine, Chris Sherrington, who following his second round defeat gave a sharp salute to members of his regiment in the stands and briskly marched from the arena.

Sherrington won his opening fight against Australia’s Jake Andrewartha but lost out to Russia’s Alexander Mikhaylin, a two-time world champion

He said: “Nearly is not good enough, as a Royal Marine it needs to be a win for me to be totally happy.”

david.oleary@edinburghnews.com