British Wimbledon tennis champions over the past five decades are set to be recognised by Merton Council, the host borough to the championships, starting with Andy Murray who became the first man to win Wimbledon since 1936.
Merton Council will then look to award freedom of the borough to other Wimbledon singles champions who have won including Virginia Wade (1977), Anne Haydon-Jones (1969) and Angela Mortimer Barrett (1961).
Leader of the Council, Councillor Stephen Alambritis said: “I am delighted that we have agreed to put the wheels in motion for freedom of the borough for all our singles champions starting with Andy Murray and then moving onto Virginia Wade and others. Sporting achievement connected with the borough will now feature in our thoughts for this prestigious award.”
About the London Borough of Merton
An outer London borough to the south-west of the capital with a population of 200,000 residents living in 80,000 households and served by 7,500 businesses. Formed in 1965, the borough’s five main town centres are Wimbledon (taking in the Village, the Broadway and South Wimbledon), Mitcham, Morden, Raynes Park and Colliers Wood.
Merton is home to the world-famous All England Lawn Tennis Club, where the Wimbledon Championships take place every year bringing an extra 500,000 people into the borough for the tennis extravaganza.
In the 13th century, the Statutes of Merton, the basis of common law in England and seen by many as the forerunner for modern parliament, were signed here. In the 19th century Merton was a place of industry where famous names such as Arthur Liberty and William Morris based their businesses on the River Wandle. Horatio, Viscount Nelson also lived in Merton.