Time to rechris­ten Wim­ble­don as ‘Mur­rayville’

The Herald on Sunday - - THE WEEK - Ron McKay

I’VE never met Andy Mur­ray, but I sus­pect, like many of us, his suc­cess, the way he has con­ducted him­self on and off the court, made our mo­ments and thoughts just a lit­tle bit more hope­ful. They did mine. There’s no greater tribute I can think of.

I was at Dun­blane that hideous day in 1996 when he was an eightyear-old wait­ing to go into the gym as his school chums died there. He has talked lit­tle about it and all the more credit to him but, hor­ren­dous and un­fath­omable as it was, I am sure that day has played a part in in­spir­ing him.

I don’t know for sure why he points to the sky at the end of matches, and he hasn’t ex­plained, but the deaths of those 16 chil­dren and their teacher are surely part of it.

If his body has fi­nally de­feated him as a sports­man it won’t have tri­umphed over his will. But this isn’t an epi­taph. There does need to be some last­ing com­mem­o­ra­tion to his achieve­ments – I was think­ing, re­name Ed­in­burgh Air­port, but that’s hardly fit­ting – and cer­tainly not a statue or a street name or a stand at Easter Road. Some­thing ex­cep­tional and in­spir­ing. Rechris­ten Wim­ble­don, that fusty old, up­mar­ket spread, as Mur­rayville?

I hope he makes it through to the fi­nal at the All Eng­land Club. If he doesn’t then thanks, son, for what you did and gave us and I look for­ward to your next ad­ven­ture.

Salt and shake

IT’S time to up­date that old Andy Warhol quote – or meme as we call it nowa­days – about every­one get­ting to en­joy their 15 min­utes of fame. Any­one with a lap­top and ac­cess to that great dig­i­tal waste­land can post their own id­io­cies for the barely sen­tient to com­ment on, usu­ally in lower case, with­out punc­tu­a­tion and use of a spell checker. The lat­est celebrity, in the loos­est in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the term, whom I came across a cou­ple of days ago while ladling out in­dis­crim­i­nate on­line abuse, is butcher-turned-steak­house chain owner Salt Bae.

He’s also known by the hum­bler name of Nus­ret Gökçe, when he takes off his black-lensed glasses and mixes with the hoi pol­loi, al­though as most of those are vir­tu­ally en­slaved on con­struc­tion projects in Dubai where he hangs out he won’t have had much con­tact.

He got his nick­name from the pre­ten­tious way he de­liv­ers, yes, salt, hold­ing his arm like a co­bra clutch­ing a hand­ful of the crys­tals, then bounc­ing them off his right fore­arm on to the meat. I drib­ble down my chin at din­ner but am I an in­ter­net sen­sa­tion? You would think he would be closed down for health vi­o­la­tions rather than ap­plauded but, no, celebri­ties, usu­ally over­paid foot­ball play­ers, queue up to have sea­son­ing and sweat de­liv­ered from on high to their over­priced steaks. Manch­ester United play­ers, as well as Beck­ham, Maradona, Messi and oth­ers get in line to be self­ied with Salt. The French player Franck Ribery was heav­ily fined by his club Bay­ern Mu­nich last week for a pro­fane-laden rant af­ter he was filmed sit­ting down in Dubai to a 24-carat gold en­cased steak (no change left to tip from £1,000). And

if you don’t know what gold tastes like then you can’t af­ford to find out.

Crit­ics, Ribery ex­pounded in one of his milder raves, were just peb­bles in his socks.

Ribery is no stranger to con­tro­versy.

A few years ago he was charged with pay­ing for a 17-year-old pros­ti­tute as a birth­day gift to him­self (pay­ing for sex from an un­der-18-yearold is a crime in France) but the charges were later dropped when it was ac­cepted he didn’t know her age.

Both Celtic and Hiber­nian are presently in Dubai for a bit of win­ter sun and bond­ing, sep­a­rately of course, but if they have eaten at Nusr-Et then we haven’t heard, per­haps be­cause they’re not fa­mous enough for the Salt ‘n’ Shake­down.

Wall to wall ad­vice

WITH the US Gov­ern­ment still largely in lock­down over the is­sue of build­ing Trump’s bor­der wall with Mex­ico, a 2004 speech at Wag­ner Uni­ver­sity, by the then sim­ply se­rial bank­rupt busi­ness­man, has emerged. “Never give up ... if there’s a con­crete wall in front of you, go through it, go over it, go around it, but get to the other side of that wall” Trump ex­tolled.

En­cour­ag­ing news and surely a fail-safe de­fence for the mi­grants massed at the bor­der.

They saw it com­ing

APOLO­GIES for once more bring­ing up the name. In a 1958 Western se­ries called Track­down, in the episode called The End Of The World, a con­man breezes into town and grifts the peo­ple, per­suad­ing them that the only way to save them­selves from fiery obliv­ion is to build a wall round the place. The man’s name? You saw it com­ing. Trump.

No tun­nel vi­sion

IN the lat­est twist in the Brexit bourach, Trans­port Sec­re­tary and thor­ough­go­ing numpty Chris Grayling hands £14 mil­lion to a fledg­ling com­pany with no boats and no port con­tracts to trans­port freight across the Chan­nel, the busiest wa­ter­way in the world and one sub­ject to squalls and un­pre­dictable weather.

Mean­while, in a tun­nel not far from Rams­gate, all is cli­mat­i­cally calm, freight is be­ing car­ried 24 hours a day, 365 days a year by rail to and from the Con­ti­nent, get­ting on for two mil­lion trucks and a mil­lion-plus tons of freight a year. This has clearly es­caped Grayling’s no­tice be­cause he hasn’t even talked to the op­er­a­tors to see if they could fit in the odd batch of pem­mi­can, gruel or sur­vival blan­kets. It couldn’t be be­cause they are French, could it? Périsse la pen­sée.

Bud­dies set ball rolling for Mahrez

I SEE in the new web­site Foot­ball Scot­land there’s a piece about eight fa­mous trans­fers that might have trans­formed Scot­tish foot­ball, had they hap­pened.

Jo­han Cruyff, then 33, to Dumbarton? Ap­par­ently, it was too cold and blowy down at the Rock for him to per­form his fa­mous turns.

And Ronald­inho would have come to St Mir­ren on a short-term loan but ... the player was up for it, but a scan­dal over a fake pass­port nixed that.

But there is one true su­per­star who was at Love Street, the Pais­ley team’s ground, but got away.

In 2001, a 17-year-old Riyad Mahrez spent two-and-a-half months on trial, scor­ing four goals in seven games. But still no of­fer was forth­com­ing from the club.

It was Fe­bru­ary, it was snow­ing and too cold for the young Al­ge­rian – he later de­scribed it as abuse – so he feigned an in­jury, left his ho­tel by the fire es­cape, nicked a bi­cy­cle, cy­cled to the sta­tion and from thence to Glas­gow Air­port and Paris, the Pre­mier League ti­tle, Player of the Year and now Manch­ester City star.

Clearly, it was that Bud­dies “abuse” that made him.

Cel­e­bra­tion time as Andy Mur­ray shows off the Wim­ble­don men’s sin­gles tro­phy in 2013. In­jury is forc­ing him to retire, but he hopes to make it to this year’s Wim­ble­don be­fore quit­ting. And talk­ing of quit­ting, Don­ald Trump, left, gave some ad­vice in 2004 about peo­ple who come up against a wall

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