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Sunday, 7 July 2013

7 July 2013

At the beginning of the day the 7th of July was probably best known for being the anniversary of the London Underground and Bus Bombings.  By the end of today it is best known for the first time in 77 years that a British man has won the Men's Singles at Wimbledon.  It is one of those where were you on that sporting day, kind of days.  Do you remember when England won the World Cup in 1966?  The first sub-4 minute mile?  Botham's Ashes (going over to Ireland on a ferry for a friend's wedding and losing the coverage half way when he was taking wickets every over - or so it seemed).  Sebastian Coe and Steve Ovett breaking world records in the 800m, 1500m and the mile, then slogging it out in the Moscow Olympics in 1980.  Steve Redgrave and Matthew Pinsent in rowing; last summer's Olympics in London.

I didn't watch the match live, I have to admit, but I have just watched the highlights programme and I have to say I am impressed.  I gave up watching tennis because it seemed to be all big-serves and no rallies but it was actually a great game to watch with some excellent play.  Epic is a word that could be used.

A British man winning Wimbledon has been one of those 'Holy Grails' of British sport that I, for one, never really thought would come about in my life time.  It is one of those things that has Britain applauding the loser with a sense of here we go again ... until today!  It has happened!  Today we got to applaud the home grown winner and commiserate with a foreign loser; it is all rather alien to the British psyche.  British ... sport ... winner.  These have not often been synonymous.  However the irony is that those who are paid the most and who are pampered and preened the most are the least successful.  After all the last time England won the World Cup was in 1966 - 47 years ago, so if it is anything like Tennis we will have to wait another 30 years for a national football team that can actually win something.  Or maybe Brazil 2014?  Or maybe not.

Well done Andy Murray.  Huzzah.

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