Neil Lennon has insisted Sir Andy Murray will be a huge loss to Scottish sport as the twice-Wimbledon champion prepares to quit tennis through injury.
The tennis ace has close ties with Hibs, his grandfather Roy Erskine having been on the club’s books while his agency, 77 Sports Management, looks after the interests of Easter Road youngsters Ryan Porteous and Fraser Murray.
Although he admitted he hasn’t had many dealings with Sir Andy on a personal basis, Hibs head coach Lennon acknowledged the colossal contribution he has made to sport in this country and tennis in particular.
He said: “I hope he doesn’t have to quit because you are a long-time retired. But he’ll know himself. It’s an individual sport. If he has to retire, it’s a huge loss to tennis and British tennis, in particular.
“He’s a giant and such an inspirational figure for all of us, not just tennis lovers or young people. It’s senior people as well. He has carried the game of tennis on his shoulders for a long, long time, virtually on his own.
“It’ll be a huge loss to Scottish sport. What a career he’s had and what an ambassador he’s been.
“What a great guy to look up to. The best individual athlete we have seen for a long, long time.
“He’s in touch with a couple of our boys, but different kids from different other sports as well. It’s not just football and not just tennis.
“The company is wide-ranging and that is a fantastic opportunity for those guys to prosper under someone like that.
“It’s always sad when it’s to be the case. He’s still a young man, so he has to look after his health going forward, I suppose.
“His money is made, but he’ll really miss the cut and thrust of it all if he does have to retire. But he should have no regrets whatsoever. He’s been unbelievable in an era of unbelievable players.”