Andy Murray’s emotional speech in full as Wimbledon farewell begins: ‘I want to play forever’

Andy Murray was interviewed by the returning Sue Barker on Centre Court  (Getty Images)
Andy Murray was interviewed by the returning Sue Barker on Centre Court (Getty Images)

Andy Murray was honoured on Centre Court as his emotional farewell to Wimbledon was marked by a special tribute ceremony following defeat alongside his brother Jamie in the men’s doubles.

Sue Barker led the celebration of Murray’s career in front of the two-time Wimbledon champion’s family and peers.

The 37-year-old was watched by wife Kim, his oldest daughters, eight-year-old Sophia and six-year-old Edie, mother Judy and father Willie, while Murray’s fiercest rivals Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic took part in a video message.

Murray could not hold back the tears as he turned to his team and said he wanted to “play forever” while speaking to Barker on court.

On playing doubles with Jamie

"Yeah it was obviously really special. We never got the chance to do it before. There was a chance this year.

"Jamie’s usual partner was playing with Neal Skupski so he asked me.

"Obviously it was a bit of a race against time to try and get out here and physically it wasn’t easy today but I’m glad we were able to get out here and do this one time together."

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

On crying after defeat to Federer in the 2012 Wimbledon final

"It’s always really difficult to speak after a loss, particularly after a Grand Slam final and being at Wimbledon.

"That’s the closest I had been and it was obviously difficult. It was quite an important moment in my career.

"I’m not saying I’m the most outgoing or bubbly personality, but I think people probably saw how much I cared about the sport for the first time maybe.

"Obviously it was an important match and important moment in my career."

On winning Olympic gold at the 2012 London Games

"Definitely to that point it was the biggest week of my life.

"To turn that around after losing in the final of Wimbledon and then to come here and play, it was one of my favourite days I’ve ever had, certainly as an athlete.

"To play in a home Olympic Games at Wimbledon, to beat Roger for once in a big match was nice and then I had a great run in the mixed doubles with Laura Robson as well so yeah, it was an amazing week for me."

On winning his first Wimbledon title in 2013

"I did find it pretty stressful to be honest with you. It wasn’t easy but I obviously had an amazing team of people around me, supporting me through all of that.

"The crowd support obviously made a huge difference. Playing at a home is obviously a huge advantage in al sports and I used it that day.

"Novak [Djokovic] had an off-day obviously. I just managed to get over the line. I didn’t really actually enjoy it as much as I should’ve done. I just found the whole thing very, very stressful.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

"When I got off the court, I didn’t remember any of what had happened but I have watched that game back a few times and some of the stuff he was coming up with on the match points was incredible.

"If I had lost that game, it would have been very hard to go on to win. Amazing last game.

"With my tennis, it’s always been a bit of a struggle so that last game was always going to be a bit of a struggle."

On playing the ‘The Big Three’ of Federer, Djokovic and Nadal

"They were alright weren’t they? They weren’t the easiest guys to get past. I was obviously incredibly fortunate to play in this time and I think all tennis fans have been incredibly lucky to witness what they’ve obviously gone on to achieve.

"It’s been incredible to watch what they’ve done. It’s been incredible to be a part of some of the matches in major championships with them over the years. I was fortunate to manage to get through them a couple of time in big moments but what a time to be on the tour."

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

On his second Wimbledon title in 2016... and throwing up in a taxi

"2016 was really different. I felt way less pressure and the enjoyment I got out of that win was totally different to 2013.

"I had an amazing evening that night with my all friends and family, properly went out and enjoyed it with the people closest to me.

"Of my slams, 2016 was my favourite one. I don’t remember much of that night. I had a few drinks and I did unfortunately vomit in the cab on the way home."

On returning to Wimbledon as a fan

"I’m not never going to come back here!

"It depends who I’m watching. I hate watching my brother. I find it really difficult to watch my brother play. I love tennis. I watch it all the time.

"I would probably be more comfortable sitting up there in a coaching box rather than somewhere else."

On the support of his team during his career

"I’ve had incredible support and I think all the players here know that you can’t do this on your own. You need a team of people supporting you.

"The coaches, strength and conditioning teams, physios. In recent years, surgeons unfortunately as well.

"I’ve had some amazing people working with me over the years. A huge thanks to them for supporting me through this. The last few years have been hard for me but I think hard for them.

"It’s obviously been hard for all of us. The injuries have been tough, quite significant injuries. We’ve worked extremely hard just to be on the court competing, probably not on the level that any of us wanted but we tried."

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

On his family and support of mum Judy and dad Willie

"Mum and dad have been amazing support, still today, but when we were little and allowing us to go and pursue our dreams.

"Jamie left home to go to train when he was 12, then he moved to Paris. I left to go over to Spain.

"I know now having children how, I don’t even like them being away for a day so allowing us to go and train abroad and pursue our dreams, we couldn’t have done that without their support so thank you mum and dad."

Kim, second left, and Judy Murray, right, were there to support along with Andy Murray’s oldest two daughters (AP)
Kim, second left, and Judy Murray, right, were there to support along with Andy Murray’s oldest two daughters (AP)

On his wife Kim... and more vomit

"I better say something about my wife because otherwise I’ll get in trouble if I don’t, but this is probably going to be the hard part.

"We met the first time when we were 18 years old. Kim’s dad is a tennis coach and we met over in New York and went out for dinner there at the US Open.

"I choked a little bit the first time we went out. We walked her home to her hotel and I asked her for her email address. I don’t think that’s a normal thing to do.

"She came along to actually watch me for the first time at the US Open. I actually vomited twice in that match. Once right in front of where she was sitting. I then stood up and vomited on my opponent’s racquet bag and she still seemed to like me so I knew she was a keeper after that.

"She’s been an amazing, amazing support to me and to my whole family and is the best mum."

On his decision to retire after the Olympics

"It is hard because I would love to keep playing but I can’t. Physically it’s just too tough now. All of the injuries have added up and like I said they haven’t been insignificant.

"I want to play forever. I love this sport. It’s given me so much, taught me loads of lessons over the years that I can use for the rest of my life. I don’t want to stop so it is hard."