The madness of Murray mania

British tennis certainly had a massive lift this year with Andy Murray winning the men’s title, the first for 77 years since Fred Perry in 1936. It was a huge achievement and we should be very proud of him. But there are many people, the Prime minister included, who are calling for him to be knighted.

Am I the only person who thinks this is a tad too far for a young man of 26 years old who has only won 2 grand slam championships. Lets exam the careers of other British tennis players to compare.

Fred Perry was our most successful male tennis player winning all four grand slams; US Open 1933, 1934, and 1936, Australian Open 1934, French Open 1935 and Wimbledon an amazing 3 times 1934, 1935 and 1936. He also won doubles in the Australian Open in 1934 and the French Open in 1933, mixed doubles in the French Open in 1932, the US Open in 1932 and Wimbledon twice in 1935 and 1936.  Was he knighted? no and he never got any honours not even an OBE. There is a statue of him at Wimbledon now, but this wasn’t put there until 1984, 5 decades after his last Wimbledon win.

fred perry

Ann Jones was an outstanding player. She won the french Open twice in 1961 and 1966 and she won Wimbledon in 1969. She also won the doubles in the French Open in 1963, 1968 and 1969. Was she made a Dame? no and she has never received any other honour either.

ann jones

Our most recent female tennis winner is Virginia Wade, she won Wimbledon in 1977 and she also won the US open in the same year and the Australian Open in 1972. She also won the doubles in the US open in 1973 and 1975 and in the french Open in 1973.  Was she made a Dame? no but she was honoured with an OBE, but had to wait until 1986.

virginia wade

Please don’t misunderstand me I think Andy Murray has done extremely well and is a talented player,  but let’s not get carried away when other more successful British players seem to have been forgotten in his wake.


Proud to be British

One of the benefits of having to wait for my CRB to be done was having the time to watch the Olympics. For the last 2 weeks the TV has been on constantly and my blog has been temporarily neglected except for the weekly update of my adventures in fat club land.

It’s impossible for me to name my most favourite moment or even moments from the games. I think it’s all been fabulous; all of Team GB’s medals, the opening and closing ceremonies, the support of the spectators and the feelings of pride and elation that seem to be nationwide.

I have watched a variety of sports, some that I don’t normally have an interest in such as handball and judo. But I was glued to gymnastics, I was so impressed with the success of Great Britain’s teams.

It’s so fantastic to see British gymnasts in medal positions now as it’s only been that way for the last few years. Every Olympics since Munich 1972 I have watched the gymnastics competition and I couldn’t name one British gymnast from those early years through to the new millennium, but I could  rattle of a list of Romanian and Russian gymnasts as they dominated the medal podiums for many years.

Ours teams did us proud, the men’s team got a bronze in the team event, only the second time in a 100 years. In the pommel horse final Louis Smith got the silver and the bronze went to Max Whitlock.

But in my opinion the best of all was Beth Tweddle who is our most successful gymnast to date, she has been world champion 3 times and she added to this by getting the bronze medal in the uneven bars with a breathtaking routine.

This medal was the icing on the cake of Beth’s very successful career, bringing recognition to British gymnastics and catapulting it onto the international stage. She deserves every congratulations she receives.

Murray mania but what about Marray?

I watched most of Wimbledon this year following the progress of Britain’s only hope of a grand slam victory, Andy Murray, even though I don’t really like him. In my opinion he is an arrogant man with no personality.

It’s only natural that the papers were full of pictures and news of Murray, especially as he was the first man to reach the Wimbledon final in 76 years. He put up a good fight against Roger Federer and gave him a good run for his money, but he lost the match.

For fellow Brit Jonathan Marray along with his Danish partner Frederik Nielsen it was a very different story. Marray, who got into Wimbledon on a wild card, was also the first British man to reach a final for a long time, since 1936. But the big difference between him and Murray is that Marray won his game.

So one would expect to see equal newspaper coverage for him, but not so, at least not in my paper. There was nothing in the Sunday paper about his win, but plenty of pages dedicated to Murray’s forthcoming game. On Monday again there were pages about Murray’s defeat and subsequent crying and just 2 columns with a small picture about the man that actually won his final.

So I would like to pay tribute to this fantastic achievement myself, it was a very gutsy and entertaining match and they deserved to win the title.

The beautiful game

Last Sunday afternoon I couldn’t find anything new to watch on TV so I ended up watching “Escape to Victory” even though I’d seen it many times before.

The those of you not familiar with the film, it’s about a prisoner of war camp in occupied France during the 2nd world war, the prisoners form a team to play against an all German squad. The plan is for the French resistance to help them escape at half time, but during the first half despite the Germans playing dirty the allied team are holding their own and want to continue playing to try and win the game instead of escaping. Most of the allied team is made up from professional footballers such as the great Pele from Brazil, our very own Bobby Moore, Ozzy Ardiles from Argentina, Co Prins from Holland, John Wark from Scotland, Soren Lindsted from Denmark, Kevin O’Callaghan from Ireland, Hallavar Thoresen from Norway, Mike Summerbee from England, Paul van Himst from Belgium and Kazimierz Deyna from Poland. Also in the team are Michael Caine and Sylvester Stallone.

I think it’s such an uplifting film about working as a team against adversity and against the odds, to choose to carry on playing instead of escaping.

In my humble opinion the England football squad should watch this film again and again until they understand the concept of playing for the love of the game and for the honour of representing their country and not for the obscene amount of money they are paid.


Working to a deadline

A little while ago in the middle of Marmaris town centre there was a Tansas supermarket, it was knocked down and the ground levelled.

When I was there in March work was underway building a new park to commemorate the 19 Mayis Genclik Bayram. This young person and sport national day was created to celebrate Kemal Ataturk’s landing at Samsun on 19th May 1919 thus beginning the Turkish war of independence from the Ottomans.

On my return mid May the work was still ongoing and they clearly wanted to get the park finished by the 19th of May because even though the weather was nasty for the 2 days and nights before, workers toiled non stop in the driving rain and wind. The park was opened on the celebration day and although there was a bit of finishing off to do, the overall effect was lovely.

The park has a beautiful fountain similar to the Bellagio  fountain in Las Vegas but on a smaller scale, a waterfall with a lovely mermaid statue and wide open space for playing and relaxing. I think once it’s finished off properly it will be fabulous.