Give me knights of yore as well as our sporting heroes

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There has been a lot written about whether Andy Murray, who this time last week woke up to his first day as Wimbledon champion, deserves a knighthood.

The answer, surely, is yes, especially when taking into consideration his gold medal at the London 2012 Olympics.

I have no doubt he should get one, not least if he manages to crack a smile while it’s pinned on. But it’s got me thinking.

A tennis player is hardly a knight in shining armour, mounted upon trusty steed, ready with lance and sword to defend the realm and protect the country’s sovereignty.

If he and Sir Lancelot turned up to battle, Murray brandishing a racquet, a pair of Dunlop Green Flashes, and some Adidas sweat bands rather than Lancelot’s broadsword, shield and chain mail, he’d be laughed off the field.

There’s hardly room, though, for Sir Lancelot in this day and age, so I got to thinking who our modern knights of the realm should be.

My criteria became: must defend the country, fight for what’s right, excel at what they do, and have a distinct sense of fair play.

So far, so good.

But then I realised two of my own knights, the ones I’d choose, died this year.

First was a man called Gordon Carruthers. I met him in Swansea when I worked there. He was a staunch Labour supporter, city councillor and campaigner for the rights of older people.

In fact he once stood in a skip outside the Welsh Assembly to demonstrate how people past 50 aren’t consigned to the scrapheap.

He was indefatigable, absolutely charming, and devoted to his wife Angela. He was cremated, on my birthday, in March.

Next of course is someone whom most readers of The News will know.

His funeral was last Thursday, and Eddie Grenfell left instructions that no-one was to be allowed to eulogise about him. I won’t, either. What I will say was that this was a man who only fell after every single one of his fights, his battles, were won.

I applaud Sir Andy, Lord of Murray Mound. But I do think we need more real-life knights too.