Andy Murray Live presented by SSE, the tennis exhibition event set up by the British number one, has raised over £700,000 for charity this year - more than doubling the amount raised in 2016.
The money raised will be shared equally between Unicef UK, for whom Andy is an Ambassador, and Scottish charity, Sunny-sid3up.
Unicef, the world’s leading children’s organisation, will use the money raised to help protect children in emergencies, such as those affected by the Syria crisis. For example the funds could help Unicef provide sets of hats and gloves for 116,000 children to keep them safe and warm when bitter weather hits this winter.
Govan-based Sunny-sid3up will focus on tackling projects that improve lives and communities in both in Scotland and overseas. The charity is already planning how the funds will make a long-term difference close to home, as well continue the work started in Sri Lanka by its late founder, Christopher Feeney.
This year saw Andy take on Roger Federer in the Singles, before he was joined by brother Jamie to take on Tim Henman and Mansour Bahrami in the Doubles – with Still Game stars, Jack and Winston surprising the 10,800 sell-out crowd with an impromptu appearance during the Doubles.
The fundraising total was boosted by the addition of a glittering fundraising dinner around the show-court on the eve of the event. With live music from Will Young and Rob Brydon acting as MC and auctioneer, guests were treated to a sumptuous meal from world renowned chef Albert Roux OBE KFO of Chez Roux.
Those not able to attend in person were able to watch Andy Murray Live on Eurosport; while more than two-million around the world tuned in to watch on Facebook. For the first time, Facebook viewers were also able to donate to the charities direct from the live stream.
Murray commented: “It was always really important to me that this event should be for charity and so I’m really pleased we’ve been able to build on the success of last year and more than double what we raised in year one. Being able to support children and those in need is really important to me. The money raised will make a real difference in Scotland and around the world”
Mark Devlin, Unicef UK’s Chief Operating Officer said: “We are incredibly grateful to Andy for his continued support as a Unicef Ambassador to help children in danger. Right now, children’s lives are at risk from sudden disasters, long running and overlooked conflicts around the world. The money raised by Andy and his fans will help Unicef provide life-saving food, clean water and vaccines, as well as education and psychological support for children affected by conflict and disaster around the world.”
Sunny-sid3up spokesman, Tony Feeney said: “We are really grateful to Andy for choosing to support us this year. My brother Chris would have been so proud, and these funds will make a massive difference to what we can achieve in Glasgow and farther afield in Sri Lanka. We are already making plans to allocate some of the funds to help those that need it most during the Christmas period.”
Presenting partner, SSE’s Head of Sponsorship and Reward, Colin Banks added: “We are proud to continue our partnership with Andy Murray Live and delighted that fans not only got to witness world-class tennis at The SSE Hydro, but that through their fundraising efforts will also make a real difference to those in need. We were pleased to be able to help Sunny-sid3up offer tickets to some of their tireless workers and charity users throughout the Glasgow area. Glasgow is a great host city for the event and the welcome that Roger Federer received when he stepped out on court with Andy, was amazing.”
Fans can still support the charities by visiting www.andymurraylive.com . Andy is expected to announce plans early in 2018 for next year’s event.