Pupil wants Mur­ray to be PE teacher at old school

Sport­ing hero has proved to be ‘huge in­spi­ra­tion’ for young­sters at Dun­blane Pri­mary

The Courier & Advertiser (Dundee Edition) - - NEWS - LAURA PATER­SON

A bud­ding ten­nis star at Sir Andy Mur­ray’s for­mer school hopes the Wim­ble­don cham­pion will re­turn as a PE teacher after he re­tires.

Dun­blane Pri­mary pupil Gregor Wood said he was shocked to hear of Sir Andy’s plans to leave the game this year, but has high hopes for what the ten­nis ace might do next.

“He should be a PE teacher here,” pri­mary seven pupil Gregor said. “I think he would be quite a good one.”

“I was shocked that he was re­tir­ing be­cause he’s just played so well and I kind of wanted him to keep go­ing, but be­cause of his hip I guess it’s prob­a­bly time for him to stop.”

The young­ster met Sir Andy when he re­turned to his old school for a visit, and he said the Wim­ble­don cham­pion was “quite laid back” and told the pupils he hoped some of them would fol­low in his foot­steps.

Gregor hopes to be able to do so as his ten­nis is “quite good”, and he cred­ited Sir Andy’s de­ter­mi­na­tion as one of his most in­spi­ra­tional qual­i­ties.

He said: “He’s not given up be­cause of his hip and he’s had that pain for about a year now. He’s not given up and he’s kept on play­ing.”

Head teacher Lor­raine Slab­bert said she is “hugely sad” Sir Andy plans to re­tire this year as he has been a “huge in­spi­ra­tion”.

She said his vis­its to the school had shown pupils how to live ac­tive lives and taught them they can “do any­thing they want to do”.

A golden post box stands in Dun­blane High Street in recog­ni­tion of his Olympic win in 2012, and the court at the lo­cal sports club is rarely with­out young Wim­ble­don hope­fuls hit­ting some balls, in­spired by the 2013 cham­pion.

Josh Thom­son, 20, who coaches youth ten­nis at the club, added: “It’s ab­so­lutely gut­ting. It is hard to stop so early when these should be his peak years. It is such a shame.”

He added: “I don’t think you could ask for much more in an idol than some­one who’s reached World Num­ber One.”

Pic­tures: PA.

Clock­wise, from left: Pupils at Dun­blane Pri­mary; ten­nis coach Josh Thom­son at Dun­blane Ten­nis Club; and Cal­lum Innes and Caro­line Brown at the town’s golden post box.

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