He may not like us, but Murray’s worth a vote

IAN COLE profiles another of the candidates for the SJA Sportsman of the Year Awards – tennis Grand Slam finallist Andy Murray

Andy Murray doesn’t much like journalists. Which is a problem when you consider he is arguably our best-known face of British sport worldwide (David Beckham having been consigned to the modelling lounge).

However, the boy from Dunblane has done good. So good, in fact, that he rose to No4 in world tennis when he beat Rafael Nadal in the semi-final at the US Open last month and had a lot of us staying up late that Monday night when he went down in the final against a rejuvenated Roger Federer.

Think about it. For years we longed for a John McEnroe character on court who would take on the world. Now, when he comes along, we criticise his scruffy appearance, his grudging monosyllabic replies at press conferences, his occasional audible expletives.

Chaps, we didn’t like it either when Tim Henman was nestling in the world’s top 10 year after year, with his pathetic limp-wristed punch of triumph and refusing to say boo to a goose.

So what do we want? Don’t vote for Murray if you think he is one for the future. Vote for him if you think his are the top performances in British sport this year.

Click here for a full shortlist of likely contenders for the 60th annual SJA Sports Awards

If you are an SJA member and want to cast your vote for the 2008 Sportsman, Sportswoman and Team of the Year, click here and complete the easy-to-follow form.

Book your ticket for the 2008 SJA British Sports Awards – click here for the form, including the members’ price discount