Belfast Telegraph

Biting Back: Our boys ditched the cash at Gleneagles

By James Tait

Remember the range of emotions Andy Murray experienced when he defeated Novak Djokovic to win Wimbledon in 2013?

Sheer euphoria, excitement, fulfilment and even relief at becoming the first British man to clinch the SW19 crown since Fred Perry in 1936.

Amid the raucous scenes of celebration, however, Murray regained his composure to slip on a £2,500 watch from sponsors Rado, who pay the Scot a princely £1m per year to wear their product.

It is something he forgot to do when he broke his Major duck a year previously at the US Open – and he received a right ticking off for his blunder, so he was eager to please at the second opportunity.

It is a phenomenon not exclusive to tennis as even our golfing superstars are quick to display the logo or latest product of their well-paying sponsors.

From Graeme McDowell's US Open triumph at Pebble Beach to Rory McIlroy's four Major crowns, putting on a sponsor's cap for the trophy presentation is high on the priority list.

There were precisely zero caps on show last weekend, however, as the Ryder Cup was placed into European hands for the third time in a row as only Team Europe insignia is permitted.

What we saw on the Gleneagles stage was our heroic Ulstermen celebrating one of the proudest moments of their lives free from the shackles of the demanding corporate side of sport.

Money isn't everything – but eternal glory is priceless.

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