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Tearful tennis star Andy Murray opens up about Dunblane tragedy

June 24, 2013
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His tears after defeat at Wimbledon last year marked a turning point for Andy Murray. For the first time, the public saw for a moment the man behind the tennis titles, whose natural reserve had often been misinterpreted as taciturnity. On Sunday, he let the world in a little more and spoke movingly about the horrific shooting at Dunblane Primary School, when gunman Thomas Hamilton shot and killed 16 of his schoolmates at the small town's primary school in 1996.

Andy Murray

It's a subject Andy, 26, has not previously spoken about in public, and he openly broke down as he recalled what happened. "You have no idea how tough something like that is," he told Sue Barker of the incident. Cradling his little dog on his lap, the emotional Scot, 26, said that he hoped his triumphs on the tennis court have had a positive influence on Dunblane. 

"It's just nice being able to do something the town is proud of," he said. His mother Judy also recalled that fateful day during the hour-long BBC documentary. 

"Andy's class were on their way to the gym, his class were the next ones in the gym," she said. "His class were stopped when somebody went up, when they heard the noise and discovered what had happened."

With tears in her eyes, she added, "I was one of hundreds of mums that were queuing up at the school gates, waiting to find out what had happened, not knowing if your children were alive or not." There were less troubling insights into Andy's childhood, with his family revealing he showed a competitive streak from an early age. 

It emerged that his first nickname was Bamm-Bamm "because I used to get so angry, I'd just bash things around", and his dad Will recalled he once had a strop after failing to pick out the winning lottery numbers.

"He could be nice as nine-pence, enjoying himself, having good fun, and then you'd introduce a bit of competition into it and he would change," his father added."

Whether it was Monopoly or Snakes and Ladders, he had to win, had to be the best," his grandmother Shirley Erskine revealed. Andy Murray: The Man Behind the Racquet is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

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