Tennis Coach – and Andy’s Mum – Judy Murray

150 150 Rob McGibbon

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Published: 5 July 2014

Tennis coach – and Andy’s mum – Judy Murray:

‘People think I’m a hard, pushy mum but I’m very light-hearted’


We ask a celebrity a set of devilishly probing questions – and only accept THE definitive answer. This week it’s Judy Murray’s turn.


The prized possession you value above all others... My house in Bridge of Allan, Stirlingshire, just outside Dunblane. I spend so much time travelling I feel like I’m on holiday when I’m there.

The biggest regret you wish you could amend... Not taking up a tennis scholarship at the University of Virginia when I was 16. I wasn’t brave enough.

The film you can watch time and time again... The Devil Wears Prada. My life’s been saturated with tennis, so I love how it takes you behind the scenes of a fashion magazine. And Meryl Streep is brilliant.

The temptation you wish you could resist... Godiva chocolate melted over strawberries. It’s fantastic!

The book that holds an everlasting resonance... Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code. I don’t know about resonance, but it’s a great story. I couldn’t put it down.

The unlikely interest that engages your curiosity... Darts! I went to the World Championships last year. The audience was chanting, ‘There’s only one Judy Murray!’ It was hilarious.

The pet hate that makes your hackles rise... Shoeshiners. Seeing someone at the feet of someone else makes my stomach turn.

The priority activity if you were the Invisible Woman for a day... I’d listen to commanders give speeches to soldiers. Seeing how they prepare their men for the ultimate sacrifice would be fascinating.

The person who has influenced you most... Frank Dick, the former sports coach and motivational speaker. He opened my mind to how to build a support network around an athlete. 

The figure from history for whom you’d most like to buy a pie and a pint... Prince Philip. He’s been a part of history for so long already and I love that he doesn’t suffer fools lightly.

The unending quest that drives you on... To set up a tennis centre in Scotland. I want to leave a legacy.

The piece of wisdom you would pass on to a child... It’s not what you have, it’s what you do with it.

The treasured item you lost and wish you could have again... Andy and his brother Jamie’s first teeth that fell out. I kept them in a box, but I lost it when I moved two years ago.

The poem that touches your soul... Robert Burns’ Address To A Haggis. I love it because it’s fun and for its Scottishness. I also like haggis!

The misapprehension about yourself you wish you could erase... That I’m a pushy mum, hard, overbearing and serious. Away from the court, I’m very light-hearted. I’ve never pushed my boys to do anything they didn’t want to do.

The song that means most to you...Caledonia by Scottish singer and songwriter Amy MacDonald. It reminds me how much I love my country.

The unfulfilled ambition that continues to haunt you... To dance an Argentinian tango with Artem Chigvintsev from Strictly Come Dancing.

The event that altered the course of your life and character... When Andy won the US Open Juniors in New York in 2004. We were all catapulted into the media spotlight. We had to learn to live in the public eye, which isn’t easy.

The crime you would commit knowing you could get away with it... I’d be part of an Ocean’s Eleven-style heist on a Las Vegas casino. Then I’d give all the money to help prevent child poverty.

The way you would spend your fantasy 24 hours, with no travel restrictions...I’d have breakfast at the Carlisle Bay hotel in Antigua – with George Clooney! I’d look at the sea and George – two lovely views! I’d have coffee later at Le Pain Quotidien in Wimbledon with Baroness Trumpington – she’d be entertaining company. I’d have lunch at the Old Course Hotel, St Andrews, with golfer Bubba Watson. Afterwards I’d like to see him have a go at The Himalayas course, which is really hard. Then he’d take me for a spin in the General Lee, the car from the Dukes Of Hazzard, which he owns. Later, I’d relax at the spa of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Knightsbridge with the singer Lulu; she seems feisty and fun. Andy, Jamie, their partners and I would have dinner at the Cromlix Hotel near Dunblane, which Andy bought last year. I’d have cheese soufflé and New Zealand sauvignon blanc with soda and ice. I’d end the day at the Inverlochy Castle Hotel in Fort William with a glass of Baileys by a roaring fire.

The happiest moment you will cherish forever... Jamie’s wedding at Cromlix in October 2010. It’s so rare for all our family to be together. People might think it would be seeing Andy win Wimbledon, but when he won I felt relief more than anything!

The saddest time that shook your world... The Dunblane tragedy (when 16 children and their teacher were shot dead in 1996 at Jamie and Andy’s school). I have friends who lost their children that day and I will never forget how lucky I am to still have my kids.   

The philosophy that underpins your life... Reach for the stars, but keep your feet on the ground.

The order of service at your funeral... I’d have Caledonia played at St Blane’s Church in Dunblane. I’d like my ashes scattered on the Isle of Eriska on the west coast of Scotland.

The way you want to be remembered... She worked hard and made a difference. 

The Plug... Judy Murray is an ambassador for Lavazza, the official coffee of Wimbledon for the fourth year running. For details visit