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Beyond the Baseline

Hometown honor brings Andy Murray to tears

Andy Murray broke down in tears on Wednesday while accepting a prestigious civic honor in his Scottish hometown.

The reigning Wimbledon champion, 26, was overcome with emotion as he addressed family, friends and local supporters during a special meeting of the Stirling Council at his former school, Dunblane High. Murray received the freedom of Stirling and an honorary degree from Stirling University, where he trained.

"I think everyone knows that I'm extremely proud of where I come from," Murray said, his voice cracking, before pausing to compose himself. "So to get this honor means a lot to me."

What does it mean to become a freeman of Stirling? Here's how the BBC described the honor:

Only two individuals have previously been awarded the freedom of the city - World War Two veteran and Stirling councillor Colonel Frank Saunders, who died last year aged 106, and Jamaican-born cricketer Irwin Iffla.

...

Freedom of the city is the greatest honour that the council can confer.

Under historic rules, all freemen and free women were entitled to march through the city with "drums beating, colours flying and bayonets fixed".

The Daily Mail noted that "one of the ancient privileges of the Freedom of the City includes permission to drive a flock of sheep down the high street."

Joked Murray: "I don't think it's the case anymore, but I might give it a go this evening and see what happens."
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