You're my hero and you deserve a hug! Schoolboy's embrace with Olympic champion Andy Murray captures buoyant mood of the nation
Won 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 on Wimbledon's Centre Court
Victory came exactly four weeks after grand slam defeat to same player
Had to settle for silver in the mixed doubles
By Paul Harris
Their embrace lasted no more than a few seconds. But a tearful boy of 11 innocently encapsulated the buoyant mood of the nation yesterday after witnessing Andy Murray become an Olympic champion.
Henry Caplan raced down through the stands at Wimbledon’s Centre Court to hug the tennis star after what turned out to be one of the best days of each of their separate lives.
But in that magic moment – captured on giant screens around the court and broadcast to the world – Britain’s feelgood barometer soared after a weekend during which the country, quite simply, went Olympics daft.
Over here, Andy! Henry Caplan leans forward to Murray asking for a hug
Happy to oblige: The tennis star can't resist the youngster's demand and holds him in celebration
Kisses all round: This one's for girlfriend Kim Sears, who cheered him to victory over Federer
For Murray, it was the moment he turned a dream to reality and sensationally added an Olympic gold to Britain’s astonishing medal tally.
For young Master Caplan, it was the opportunity of a lifetime to share in the glory of one of his top sporting heroes during a peak of national excitement over the Games.
...and this one's for the gold medal
One minute, he was sitting with his father in the dizzy heights of row Z. The next, he broke free to sprint down towards Murray and into the players’ box. ‘Give me a hug!’ he cheekily demanded. ‘Anything for my fan,’ said Murray, and readily obliged.
Yesterday as he waited for another glimpse of Murray and his other tennis hero, Roger Federer, he told me: ‘I was just so happy. I had to let him know. I’m his biggest fan and I didn’t want to miss my chance.’
His father Elliot, a 41-year-old furniture supplier from Blackmore, Essex, said: ‘I was hugging him at the end of the match because he was overwhelmed and crying with joy.
He said “get off me” and slipped out of my arms. ‘Next thing I know, he’s all over the telly screens giving Andy Murray a hug.’
Jumping for joy, punching the air in triumph, Murray ran back on to the grass to celebrate his prize.
Four weeks on from the moment he left Centre Court in tears, the 25-year-old champion-in-waiting had returned to take his revenge on arch rival Federer – and to stride spectacularly into the record books.
He declared his victory ‘the biggest win of my life’ and added: ‘I’ll never forget this moment.’
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