Murray: Fletch inspired young Scots
Tennis star and Manchester United fan Jamie Murray says the success fellow Scot Darren Fletcher enjoyed during his impressive career with the Reds acted as real inspiration for kids growing up in Scotland.
The former United midfielder enjoyed a memorable spell at Old Trafford and became a vital member of a number of Sir Alex Ferguson's successful teams, albeit often in the role of a unsung hero. A passionate, hard-working and talented footballer, Fletcher’s energy and desire was infectious, both on and off the pitch, as he embraced the responsibility that comes with playing for the biggest club in the world.
His friend Murray watched from afar as Fletcher progressed through the ranks at Old Trafford and, during an appearance on MUTV’s Group Chat on Thursday, the Grand Slam-winner reflected on how Fletch’s success at club and international level acted as real motivation for budding footballers back home.
“When I was growing up, United were the best team and you were drawn to that and, of course, Sir Alex Ferguson was a huge hero of mine,” he explained. “When Darren Fletcher started to get into the team, I think for a lot of young kids in Scotland, seeing him play for the best team in the world at that time and being Scottish captain, gave them real motivation and made people back home think ‘if he can do it, then I can do it.’
"They had someone to look up to, which hadn’t been the case for Scottish football for quite a few years.”
Like the footballers, Murray has been patiently waiting for sport to resume during lockdown and, while the Reds returned to training last week, Jamie was also back out on the tennis courts, having a hit with his brother Andy, who is working his way back to fitness after a hip operation.
“We got back on the courts about 10 days ago, which has been good. I haven’t really been missing being on the tour too much, it’s been quite nice to be at home for an extended period of time, it’s probably the longest I’ve been at home since I was 12 or 13 years old. So that’s been quite nice but it has been good to get back on the court, even though the tournaments aren’t for a while.
“You can at least feel like you’re maintaining your skills and keeping your eye in. And just getting out of the house for a couple of hours a day has been a bit of an energy-changer.
“I’ve really been missing live sport,” added Jamie, whose first game watching United was the title-winning victory over Tottenham during the Treble season. “Everyone who is a sports fan is in the same boat, it’s boring watching replays of games, I’d rather watch sport when you don’t know what’s going to happen. I think just for the country in general, as soon as live sport comes back, the better for a multitude of reasons.”
We'll have a new episode of MUTV Group Chat at 16:00 BST, every day from Monday to Friday. You can watch them all on our United at Home page.