My United: Tennis champion Jamie Murray
Our series of 'My United' interviews continues with Jamie Murray, the six-time Grand Slam doubles champion and older brother of fellow tennis star Andy Murray.
In July 2015, he spoke to Inside United magazine about supporting the Reds, idolising his hero from Scotland and hanging out with the players on tour...
Why and when did you become a United fan?
“I got into United when I was seven or eight years old because they were the best team! As I got older, I became a much bigger fan because of them having a Scottish manager and the [then] Scottish captain Darren Fletcher.”
What was the first United game you went to?
“It wasn't a bad one to start with - the last league game of the 1998/99 season against Spurs when we won the league and the first part of the Treble. My best friend's dad was invited by his company, who had a box, and four of us drove down the morning of the game from Dunblane. The box was behind the Spurs fans and what I remember most about that day is the Spurs fans cheering when they went ahead and then when United scored, the Spurs fans were signing that Arsenal were going to win nothing. When the final whistle blew, both sets of fans were cheering!”
Who is your United hero and why?
“Sir Alex Ferguson. Every United fan has to love Sir Alex. To be able to manage a club for nearly 27 years and have the level of success he had will never be replicated. I loved the way he set up his teams to play football and he always gave the younger players a chance to prove themselves, which is rarely seen these days. His desire to win season after season impacted on his players because their performances rarely dropped despite all the successes they'd previously had. Darren Fletcher is also a hero for me. In my lifetime, Scotland have never had a great national team so I can't imagine the young Scottish kids who aspire to be footballers having many Scottish heroes to look up to. But Darren played for the biggest club in the world and he's proved to these kids that it's possible for a Scottish kid to live their dream.”
What's your favourite United memory?
“United's 4-2 win at Everton in April 2007. United hadn't won the league for four years and were battling with Chelsea for the title with only four games left before the Everton match. We were 2-0 down early in the second half and came back to score four goals in the final half an hour. Chelsea drew that same day and the title race was almost over.”
Which team do you always love to beat and why?
“Liverpool. A lot of my friends are Liverpool fans so there's always so much chat about the games. It's the match you genuinely feel most gutted about if you lose. I like sending them a blank text message whenever a team scores against them just to get under their skin. Words aren't necessary.”
How do you follow the team while you're travelling the world playing tennis?
“I watch as many games on live streaming or Sky Go as I can. It's pretty easy these days as long as you have a decent internet connection.”
What's the football banter like in the tennis world?
“Pretty much all the players are into football, especially the Europeans and South Americans. The Spanish guys are always talking about Barcelona and Real Madrid!”
What are your memories of meeting the United players on tour in Washington DC in 2014?
“I remember being nervous beforehand but more because we met on the rooftop terrace of the hotel and I'm not good with heights! Antonio Valencia, Ander Herrera and Juan Mata were there and they were all brilliant with us. They were very down to earth and humble, which I really liked - Ander especially looked like he was having the time of his life being away on tour with United. You could feel his excitement and his enthusiasm was infectious. The next day we went to watch United play Inter Milan and met some of the other players after the game, which was very cool. Louis van Gaal walked right past us but I totally choked asking him for a photo!”
Jamie Murray was speaking to the July 2015 edition of the Inside United magazine. Subscribe now for future editions.