Four Wimbledon champions granted freedom of Merton after unanimous council vote


Andy Murray, Virginia Wade, Ann Haydon-Jones and Angela Mortimer all received the title.


By Andrew Lawton

Four Wimbledon champions have been granted the honorary freedom of Merton after a unanimous council vote on Wednesday evening.

At a special meeting of Merton Council, Wimbledon Tennis Championship singles champions Andy Murray, Virginia Wade, Ann Haydon-Jones and Angela Mortimer all received the title of Honorary Freeman of the Borough.

The motion, which required a vote from two thirds of members to pass, was passed unanimously.

The mayor of Merton, Councillor Krystal Miller, will formally award the honours to the four champions at a presentation ceremony in the summer.

She said: “The admissions of these great sportspeople as Honorary Freemen of the Borough is the highest honour a council can give.

“We have not added any individuals to this list since 2006 and we are delighted to welcome those who have made significant sporting contributions to Great Britain and whose great achievements took place in the borough.”

The champions were recognised for their significant reputational benefits to Merton as a place to visit and a good place to live, work and play. 

Andy Murray beat Novak Djokovic 6-4 7-5 6-4 in the 2013 Wimbledon Men’s singles final to become the first men’s singles winner for 77 years. He also won gold and silver Olympic medals in the borough during the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Virginia Wade is the most recent women’s singles champion, coming from a set down to beat Betty Stöve 4-6 6-3 6-1 in the 1977 final.

Ann Haydon-Jones won the singles title in 1969 while Angela Mortimer was victorious in 1961.

Photo courtesy of Robbie Dale, with thanks.

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