I won’t profess to knowing Andy Murray well but I have had enough dealings with him to have an informed view on where the Scottish tennis star now stands in British sport. And it is high. Very high indeed.
I’d like to think the incorrect pre-conceptions about Murray have long been eroded by now. You know, the dour, humourless Scot, the anti-English tennis player with no personality.
Not only is this patently incorrect but it always has been.
I remember many years ago playing a set against Murray at the Queen’s Club. In case you’re wondering – he won. 6-0, since you ask. But he was sporting, not patronising and even prepared to take the mick when I dived full length and cut both knees.
Another time we chatted about football and, in particular, his frustrations at being a Hibs supporter.
I’ve interviewed him on a few occasions, too, and in the flesh he is self-deprecating, low-key and very, very determined.
If you managed to watch the superb Sky Sports programme when Murray talked at length about Froch-Groves 1 you would have also seen a genuine fight fan.
Anyway, an emotional Murray on the Wimbledon grass managed to persuade most doubters that this guy has a lot more to him than previously thought, as did his occasional appearances in the “Mock the Week” audience and on Sport Relief.
Winning the US Open was pretty special in 2012. After all, the last British majors winner had been Fred Perry in 1936. Winning the Olympic gold medal at the 2012 London Games was at least as special, too.
And then there was the small matter of becoming Wimbledon champion one year later.
For me that made Murray a national treasure, just like Bradley Wiggins after winning the Tour de France.
Wiggo, notably, was knighted, and rightly so. Seven Olympic medals, three golds, a world road race title and the first Brit ever to win the Tour. No debate.
Now I argue that Murray should become Sir Andy, preferably in the New Year’s Honours List. There was a strong argument this could have happened after 2013 but now, after leading Britain to a first Davis Cup victory in 79 years, it surely is a no brainer.
Of course others played their part in British success, notably captain Leon Smith and brother Jamie, who proved so important in the doubles, but nobody can deny the dominance Andy has enjoyed throughout the year in the Davis Cup. The pressure on him to deliver was immense but deliver he did – and in spades.
Most of our sports stars are knighted after they have retired. But Wiggins and Sir Ben Ainslie have proved you can be currently active and a knight.
So arise Sir Andy, even though he will be acutely embarrassed by it all and no doubt laugh at himself. No matter. He deserves it and is there really anyone who would begrudge such an accolade?