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From The Archives: Murray And The Wolves


18:00 11th September 2012

Why tennis ace wore the shirt!

Andy Murray ending the Grand Slam losing streak for Britain’s men which has lasted some 76 years is the sports story of the day.
And it has also revived memories of the time, thanks to lifelong Wolves fan John Lloyd, Murray wore the gold and black in practice a few years ago.
Murray is not a Wolves fan but was gently persuaded into wearing a home shirt after Lloyd got in touch with club Vice-President Rachael Heyhoe-Flint.
Segments from a couple of stories previously carried on the Wolves’ website explain more…….
If British tennis star Andy Murray needs any consolation after this weekend's Davis Cup defeat to Austria, than who knows? Maybe it arrived in the form of the personalised Wolves shirt sent down to the team's hotel during the weekend.
The Great Britain captain and former number one himself John Lloyd is well-known as a lifelong Wolves fan, and took Andy and the squad along to the victory at Charlton ten days ago.
The proud Scot is a staunch Hibernian supporter, but with no particular affiliation to an English club John and Wolves vice-president Rachael Heyhoe-Flint have got their heads together to try and entice him to the fold.
And that is why the personalised shirt, as pictured here with Rachael, winged its way down to Wimbledon over the weekend.
Despite Britain's 3-2 defeat Andy of course won both his singles rubbers, the sort of impressive return which given Wolves' impressive start to the season suggests they might be a perfect match!
"I've had a bit of fun with Andy and we're trying to get him to take on Wolves as his English club," John explained to WOW over the weekend before Britain fell to their narrow defeat.
"He's a keen Hibernian fan but has no real official English club to follow.
"I'm going to keep on at him that's for sure and it was a good bit of fun to hand the shirt over."
John reported that on Sunday morning, when he announced Wolves were still top of the table, the response from Andy was, "how far are we ahead?"
Whether the tennis ace is seen at Molineux at any stage in the future is open to question, but clearly he's been made well aware of Wolves' impressive start to the season.
"We've sent a letter down to Andy to see what he thinks about us trying to make him an honorary fan," added Rachael.
"We'll be happy to see him at Molineux, but in return we expect a lifetime of loyal undying support and hopefully some inspiration amid any pain and anguish!!!!"
John meanwhile admitted it was great to have seen Wolves in the flesh at The Valley, as he revealed the circumstances behind how the recent US Open finalist ended up watching Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and Sam Vokes propel the Molineux men to victory.
"When we meet up for a home tie we always tend to try and do a game the weekend before," said John.
"Usually the team want to see Chelsea but last time they were away and we ended up at Fulham.
"This time Chelsea were at home but on the Sunday which wasn't possible and so I started thinking about Wolves being at Charlton.
"I wasn't sure what Andy was doing and whether he'd still be resting because I didn't expect him to come until the Sunday.
"A few others involved were at tournaments so I made an executive captain's decision and said I was going to Charlton against Wolves!
"Andy then decided he wanted to do some practice on Saturday and I just mentioned I was going to Charlton/Wolves afterwards not really expecting him to come.
"But he seemed really keen which was something of a surprise - it turned out that his fitness trainer Matt Little is a fanatical Charlton fan and season ticket holder who probably wants Andy to support them.
"I think Andy probably realised that with him on the one side and me on the other it could end up being a fun afternoon!
"As it turned out he was only due to practice from 12 until 1 but we couldn't get him off the court.
"And unfortunately I couldn't really say, 'come on Andy, let's get off and watch my team play'!
"By the time we eventually got through all the traffic we didn't make it until 3.30 and Andy had been listening on his phone to know Charlton were 1-0 up.
"We met Matt there because we'd got the tickets and while he was pleased his team were ahead he was also disappointed he'd not got to see the goal.
"We saw that fifteen minutes and then of course the second half when we managed to turn it around which was great.
"It was quite difficult for me because we were watching amongst the Charlton supporters and so I had to keep my cheers muffled and not jump up and down when Wolves scored.
"It was a case of sitting on my hands because I didn't want the bodyguard who was with us to have to step in and take command!"
What then did Andy make of the impressive Wolves performance in keeping with their start to the season?
"I couldn't get much out of him after the game when I said 'come on, what did you make of Wolves then?'" John adds.
"'They were alright'," was his reply!
"He just didn't want to admit to me how good they were, he wasn't going to give Wolves any credit!
"Then of course we beat Crystal Palace last week as well and I came down the next morning and said to him, 'top of the league, what more can I say?'"
Judging by Andy's response after Wolves stayed top of the pile by virtue of beating Preston, John's powers of persuasion are starting to take hold!
* * *
Whether British tennis star Andy Murray - seen wearing a Wolves shirt during practice prior to winning the Aegon Championships at Queens Club a fortnight ago – decides to wear the gold and black while wandering around Wimbledon remains to be seen.
But even if the dress restrictions at SW19 render such a prospect impossible, he probably still won't be able to avoid hearing about various matters Wolves from BBC commentator and British Davis Cup captain John Lloyd.
Lloyd, like Murray, a former Grand Slam finalist during his own playing career, is a lifelong Wolves fan whose passion for the club remains undiminished whether here working in England or back home following all the action on the internet in California.
And it is down to the Essex-born 54-year-old that Murray has taken an interest in Wolves in the first place.
It was last September when, during a break from training for a Davis Cup tie with Austria, Lloyd took the squad down to The Valley to take in Wolves' 3-1 win at Charlton.
Following that Wolves' Vice-President Rachael Heyhoe-Flint, after talking to Lloyd, ensured a spanking new home shirt emblazoned with "Andy Murray" and the number "1" was sent down to the Great British hope.
Despite being a staunch Hibernian fan Murray has no particular affiliation to any English club and thus has been happy to wear the Wolves shirt on occasions, most recently at Queen's a fortnight ago.
Much to the delight of his Davis Cup captain!
"I didn't actually see the pictures but I'm looking forward to talking to Andy about it - it's great!" says Lloyd.
"I've been on to him ever since we went to that Charlton match which was all good because Andy's fitness trainer Matt Little is a big Charlton fan.
"Charlton went downhill from there onwards but for Wolves it went completely the other way and I've told Andy his great year has co-incided with ours!
"I'm regularly texting him with "Up the Wolves" and all that sort of thing and he's probably sick and tired of me going on about it.
"But it's all good fun and I know he enjoys wearing the shirts and all the banter that comes from it."
To that end a new Wolves shirt has been winging its way down to Murray at Wimbledon this week as he bids to secure his own major Championship on the hallowed South London turf.

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