Post-grad study scotches Murray myth

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A Stirling postgraduate student has debunked claims that, according to the media, Andy Murray is British when he wins and Scottish when he loses.

Ben Dickson, an applied linguistics student, carried out the study for his MSc dissertation on the use of national identity in sports reporting.

Dickson’s research revealed that the media were “consistent” in how they referred to the tennis star, regardless of the result.

The AndyMurrayometer used to measure Murray’s Scottishness vs Britishness – until he won Wimbledon, when they decided he was permanently British. Credit: andymurrayometer.com

He also discovered that Scottish newspapers referred to Murray as Scottish twice as much as they referred to him as British.

In the UK press as a whole, broadsheets were more likely to call Murray Scottish, while tabloids were more prone to calling him British.

Dickson studied 200 press reports of Murray’s Wimbledon matches between 2005 and 2014 before coming to his conclusion.

He said:

I was determined to put this issue to bed once and for all. My research shows that the result of Andy Murray’s matches does not affect the way the UK-based press refer to his national identity.

“What has been identified, however, is that nationalism is key to the language of sports reports in the UK.”

Andy Murray is currently in Belgium with the GB Davis Cup team as they prepare to contest their first Davis Cup final since 1978.

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