“Character has very little, if anything, to do with class…”: Allan Massie

Andy Murray comes from a middle class family in a small Scottish town. Picture: Getty

Andy Murray comes from a middle class family in a small Scottish town. Picture: Getty

Writing in The Scotsman, Allan Massie states:

Character has very little, if anything, to do with class, and it is the marriage of character to natural ability which makes for champions. So-called “hungry” fighters are not necessarily people who suffered poverty or what is called “social exclusion” when they were young. Admittedly there are some sports, notably boxing and football, which have traditionally been dominated by people from poor, even wretchedly poor, backgrounds, and we still think of football as a working-class sport, even though its top players become millionaires and season-tickets at big clubs are priced out of the reach of the game’s traditional support.

Champions, however, come from all sorts of backgrounds. An upbringing in Murrayfield and education at George Watson’s might fairly be described as comfortable, a long way from any ghetto or housing scheme. Nothing in it obviously explains the ambition and commitment which made Chris Hoy a winner of seven Olympic medals. Any attempt to determine what makes a champion must look at the individual, not at the environment in which he or she grew up. Jim Clark, Scotland’s first and, some would say, greatest Formula One motor-racing champion came from a wealthy Berwickshire farming family and an independent school education at Loretto. How likely was that?

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: