Anorak News | Cry Of The Mild

Cry Of The Mild

by | 24th, June 2005

‘OOPS! Or, as Tim Henman might well put it, “f***”.

When I urged the Henmaniacs (“Quiet Please”) to give Tim a break and pause from yelling “Come on, Tim”, “Go Tim!” and “You can do it, Tim”, my intention was to help Henman on his path to glory.

But used to the customary din that surrounds a Henman match at Wimbledon, the sudden silence must have rung inside the player’s head like a bout of white noise. No wonder he exploded.

I had thought Henman would come to thank his fans for their silence. In keeping mum, the mums who follow Tim’s every move, for whom every swish of Tim’s racket causes their skirts to billow up girlishly, would earn their idol’s eternal gratitude.

In years to come, Henman would nod his grey head and say how he could not have fulfilled his dream and been made Wimbledon champion in 2005 had his fans not kindly consented to shut up.

But it didn’t go to plan. As early as the first set, as Henman moved towards his eventual demise in five sets to world no. 152 Dmitry Tursunov, Britain’s No.1 wanted more noise.

“Come on, f***, more, make some f**king noise. It’s f***ing unbelievable,” he urged.

Crikey! When in the weeks leading up to Wimbledon, Henman admitted that he had become ‘a grumpy old man’ we never thought he was telling the truth.

But here he was being grumpy. He was even using the word so favoured by professional grumpy old man Victor Meldrew – it was all so very unbelievable.

And so it looked on TV. He might have the looks of a Blue Peter presenter, but although the Beeb’s tea-time children’s show has featured pooing elephants and frotting dogs, I’ve never heard the f-word.

Tim didn’t even warn us to send granny out of the room; he just bulldozed in with his tirade. Wimbledon was making a Tiger out of Tim from a Russian opponent, a few iffy calls and some sticky grass.

And there was more. Not since 1995, when Henman inadvertently lost his grip and slammed a tennis ball into a ballgirl, has he involved the green-clad boys and girls on court in his game plan.

Tim, whose clothes, like his image, are famously whiter than white, extolled the boys and girls to greater things. “Tell them to get their heads out of their arses and get me a coke,” he advised.

Such was the furore that the BBC, which broadcasts the Henman show, issued a public statement. “Swearing was broadcast live,” it read, “and the BBC would like to apologise for any offence caused.”

Apology accepted. We know it’s all part of sport. Wayne Rooney has taught us that.

In any case, with Henman gone, we can now support and pile the pressure on his heir, the young tyro Andy Murray.

Now, if the Murryanicas can just make some f***ing noise to stop him going out in Wimbledon’s first week…

Paul Sorene’

Posted: 24th, June 2005 | In: Back pages Comment | TrackBack | Permalink