A Lurgan man told how he wasn’t prepared to ‘throw in the towel’ in order to net himself a piece of sporting memorabilia.
Ryan McNally is the proud owner of a towel used to wipe the brow of Andy Murray, the first British champion at Wimbledon in 77 years.
Ryan, who was at Wimbledon with his sister, caught the towel when it was thrown in the crowd by Murray after his incredible comeback from two sets down against Fernando Verdasco in the quarter final on centre court.
Ryan, a 19-year-old Pharmacy student at Queen’s, said: “Our seats were in the front row where the players come in and out. My sister was busy taking photos on her phone. I saw him (Murray) shaping up with the towel as if he was going to throw it into the crowd. Then it looked like he wasn’t going to bother. He always throws his wristbands into the crowd, but he never usually throws the towel.
“At the last minute he just chucked it into our row. I got my hand on it and there were another few hands on it, but I wasn’t going to give it up.”
Ryan’s mother Margaret had bought him the tickets as a birthday present. His mother has threatened to wash the towel, but Ryan wants to keep it in the condition in which the Wimbledon champion gave it to him.
Ryan, a member of drama group The Phoenix Players, used to play tennis when he was younger.
He commented: “I used to play in the park with my sister. Now I’m wishing I’d give it a serious go.
“Wimbledon was inspirational and it’s nice to have Andy Murray’s towel as a souvenir.”