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Thursday, May 16, 2019

Tennis Andy Murray knighted


Viv Richards was the star of those days ~ would walk in with a swagger, swat the bowlers to all part of the ground.  He was knighted ! and became Sir  Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards.  Lara too was knighted and became Sir Brian Lara. A knight is a man granted an honorary title of knighthood by a monarch, bishop or other political or religious leader for service to the monarch.  Historically, in Europe, knighthood was conferred upon mounted warriors. Often, a knight was a vassal who served as an elite fighter, a bodyguard or a mercenary for a lord, with payment in the form of land holdings.

Sir is a formal English honorific address for men, derived from Sire in the High Middle Ages. Traditionally, as governed by law and custom, Sir is used for men titled knights i.e. of orders of chivalry, and later also to baronets, and other offices. As the female equivalent for knighthood is damehood, the suo jure female equivalent term is typically Dame. The wife of a knight or baronet tends to be addressed Lady, although a few exceptions and interchanges of these uses exist.  However, in common parlance, ‘Sir’ is used to address a Man  in a respectful way with its feminine equivalent being Madam. 

Tennis ace Sir Andy Murray said he wished his two young daughters had been old enough to see him receive his knighthood from the Prince of Wales.  Sir Andy was knighted by Prince Charles during a ceremony at Buckingham Palace following a glittering tennis career that has seen him win three Grand Slam titles.  He issued a brief statement about the knighthood, saying: 'I'm very proud to receive it. It's a nice day to spend with my family; my wife and parents are here.  'I'd have liked to [have brought] my kids but I think they're a bit young. I'll show them the medal when I get home.' Andy's proud mother Judy Murray later posted a mocked-up photograph to Twitter in which her son appeared as King Arthur pulling a tennis racquet from the stone.

Sir Andy and wife Kim are the proud parents of three-year-old Sophia Olivia and 18-month-old Edie.  Dark Materials author Sir Philip Pullman was also knighted today, for his services to literature. He said he was 'very surprised and honoured' to have been recognised by the Queen and paid tribute to other writers who have previously collected awards. Broadcaster Chris Packham, who received death threats over his campaign on bird shooting last month, was also be awarded a CBE for services to nature conservation. The BBC Springwatch presenter said the honour was a 'silent thanks' from the animals he has defended, after he was named on the New Years Honours list in 2018.

Andy Murray's career-defining moment came in the summer of 2013 when he ended Britain's 77-year wait for a male singles champion at Wimbledon. The knighthood was announced in the 2016 New Year Honours, capping a momentous 12 months which saw him win a second Wimbledon title. In the same year, he also retained his Olympic crown, was named BBC Sports Personality of the Year for the third time, and finish the season as world number one.

Recipients are allowed to choose when to collect their honour and it is thought the delay was due to Sir Andy having a busy overseas playing schedule, but in the intervening two years he has suffered a career-threatening hip problem. Sir Andy announced during a tearful press conference at the Australian Open in January that he plans to retire after Wimbledon this year due to the pain in the joint. But after a monumental five-set tussle with Roberto Bautista Agut, where  Andy Murray showed he still has the ability and desire to compete at the top level, he said he would do everything he could to keep playing.  He sounded upbeat about his tennis prospects when he spoke about his hip rehabilitation in April during the London Marathon, where he fired the starting pistol for the elite men's race.

Sir Andy, who is a Unicef UK ambassador, received the knighthood for services to tennis and charity.  The player connected with the wider British public when he took gold at the London 2012 Olympics, beating Roger Federer in straight sets. A few weeks later he became the first British man to win a grand slam final in 76 years, defeating Novak Djokovic in the US Open. His efforts earned him the OBE for services to tennis but more glory on the court was to follow.

Rabindranath Tagore won  Nobel Prize in Literature:  and was awarded a knighthood by King George V in the 1915 Birthday Honours.  However, Tagore renounced ‘Sir title’  after the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre.  In the repudiation letter to the Viceroy, Lord Chelmsford, he wrote :  “the time has come when badges of honour make our shame glaring in the incongruous context of humiliation, and I for my part, wish to stand, shorn, of all special distinctions, by the side of those of my countrymen who, for their so called insignificance, are liable to suffer degradation not fit for human beings.”

The great England all-rounder Ian Terrance Botham too was knighted but not for Cricket. It was in recognition of his services to charity, in the year 2007.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
16th May  2019.


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