#TBT: The day a stranger gave us Centre Court tickets at London 2012 Olympics!

Four years ago today I was a pretty excitable bunny, heading off to London 2012 Olympics.  It was an event I had been looking forward to for a very long time.  Having put my name in the ballot for the maximum amount of tickets both mine and Darren’s credit card could possibly accommodate, we had secured one set of tickets to the tennis at Wimbledon.  As it happened, it was the day that Andy Murray & Laura Robson would play in the semi finals.


We set off from Southampton nice and early, we arrived in plenty of time.  Which was good.  A few months prior to London 2012, I had broken my coccyx and at the time of the olympics I was scooting around in a very old wheelchair which was on loan from the NHS.  Said wheelchair had a pretty wonkey wheel, was ridiculously heavy and a pain in the arse for Darren to push….  As soon as we reached Wimbledon somebody noticed we were struggling, and the pokey wheelchair was supercharged to an electric one for the day.  We were off.  (Me now quite a lot quicker than Darren)

Our tickets to Wimbledon were category D.  I figured that would mean tickets with a pretty poor view of the court, but it didn’t.  At Wimbledon there are lots of courts, and our tickets got us access to the piddly little ones around the site, not the big court with the adjustable roof and 15000 spectators watching.  Still we were at Wimbledon and I was set to have a good time.

With my new supercharged wheelchair, we found a court holding ladies games and parked up in the designated disabled bay.  We had a cracking view of the court which despite being half empty had a pretty good atmosphere.  We spent the morning sat in two different courts, watching unknown tennis players battle it out for a place in the later games which would give them the chance to become medal winner.

In the afternoon, we took a tour around the grounds and stopped to watch the games in centre court on the large screens.  After we found out the Venus sisters would be playing together, we set off again in search of that court.  Only, we never did find out where the Venus sisters would be play.  Or indeed how they got on.

Centre Court at Wimbledon

Center court at Wimbledon, London 2012 Olympics

As we approached one of the volunteers to ask for details, another chap approached us and offered Darren and I his centre court tickets.  He explained that his children were getting tired and playing up, so the family had decided to go home.  The only problem was that the tickets were high in the court but explained that if I walked a little way I would be able to go in.  The volunteer told us to snap his hand off.  The centre court tickets were gold dust.  So we did, thanking his profusely as left to catch up with his wife and agitated children.

Reaching centre court we were told that wheelchairs were not allowed in, but as it would be difficult for me to climb the stairs, the staff took us through the staff/VIP area away from the crowds, and helped us get settled into my very centrally positioned seat.  We had a phenomenal view of the mens singles games happening in front of us, which was unfortunately,  just about ending.

We had little to be disappointed about though.  An announcement over the tannoy revealed that Team GB would be competing – it was the semi final game for Andy Murray and Laura Robson.

If the atmosphere was great in the first game, it was electrifying watching Andy & Laura play.  Constant cheers erupted in the courts with Mexican waves forever doing the rounds.  Having never watched a game of tennis before that morning, I was captivated, if not still a little rusty on what was actually happening.   Winning the first match and loosing the second, the third and final match was very exciting.  In a nile biting game, Team GB had done it. The crowd erupted as Andy Murray & Laura Robson made it through to the final of the mixed doubles for London 2012.  They were to be heading home with either a gold or silver medal.

After our busy day in Wimbledon, Darren and I were shattered.  We decided to go home, joining the huge crowds of people strolling back through Wimbledon to their cars.  The buzz was amazing and there was an incredible atmosphere  which I’ve not experienced elsewhere in my life.

I’ve lost all the photos from that wonderful day in Wimbledon except from the one photo at the top of this post, but the day is stored in my memory forever.  I will never forget the fun we had in London, or the kindness of the stranger who gave us his tickets.

I’m a little sad that as I write this. I should be in Rio, experiencing all of what Brazil has to offer in its Olympic games, but we’ve had to cancel our trip.  London 2012 was my first olympic games, but it wont be the last.  I’m already looking at Korea & Tokyo.  Only next time, I’m booking a plush hotel and not a homestay from hell……

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  1. August 5, 2016 / 4:48 am

    What an AMAZING story! Lovely to read. What great memories you will have. One of my greatest regrets is that I was not able to see any of the 2012 Olympics. Nothing. Zilch. As we live on our boat in Greece, we don’t see any UK TV and the few bars and tavernas we visited didn’t always show any Olympic stuff on their TV. My husband bought me the DVD of the 2012 Olympics for Christmas, but it wasn’t the same as the excitement of watching it live, I’m not so excited by the Rio Olympics, but as I’m back in the uk for a few weeks now, I’m sure I’ll be watching…..

    • admin
      August 5, 2016 / 9:33 am

      There certainly was an incredible buzz in the UK whilst the olympics were held here, it’s such a shame that you were unable to stream any of it on your boat or watch it in the pubs ashore 🙁 We did have 12 tickets to the games this year but sadly are unable to go anymore. I will be watching as much as possible on TV however, despite the time difference. Enjoy your time in the UK:)

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