Memories of a first sighting of the teenager who was top become Scotland’s greatest ever sportsman remain vivid, not least because in one sense the setting could scarcely have been less apt.

We were gathered in an ante room at Stirling University’s Gannochy Centre, the National Tennis Centre, for a press conference hosted by the Scotland rugby team management at a time when a sport that had served the country well but had been spiralling into decline, was experiencing new lows under the ill-starred stewardship of one Matt Williams.

The identification was made by a colleague who was old enough to have shared in professionally experiencing that sport’s headiest days which we then suspected would be our own covering sport, when the Grand Slam decider was won against the oldest and England, in 1990 and a World Cup semi-final was reached the following year, but was a keen club tennis player.

Read more: Sir Chris Hoy: Andy Murray, World No 1, is Scotland's greatest ever sportspersonHeraldScotland:

“Is that Andy Murray?” he asked, pointing towards one of the indoor courts.

The rest of us had no idea who he was talking about that day having had no previous reason to pay the slightest attention to the elite end of Scottish tennis. Within a couple of years that was changing fast, Murray’s performances earning him the first taste of fame, mixed with a little notoriety for his joke that was deliberately misunderstood by sections of the media, about supporting anyone but England at the 2006 World Cup.

No-one has done more for British sport in the intervening decade than the young man who attained what seemed unimaginable at that time when Roger Federer, their sport’s greatest ever player and his Nemesis, Rafa Nadal, were battling it out in Grand Slam after Grand Slam.

Read more: Sir Chris Hoy: Andy Murray, World No 1, is Scotland's greatest ever sportsperson

To witness at first hand Murray’s rise to the very top of the game over this past year in particular, but also more remotely during those that preceded it, filled as they have been with advice regarding his behaviour and his methods of preparation from those who by dint of over-long involvement in the British game can, by definition, have no idea of what is required, has been a rare privilege.

What has been most striking is the way that right up to the eve of achieving world number one status, Murray himself has always remained open to learning, rather than seeking to suggest he has all the answers as many of his critics have done.

Sometimes the lessons have been tough and sometimes he has absorbed them inadvertently as most obviously when he lost control of his emotions after his defeat by Federer in the Wimbledon final of 2012. It was a cathartic moment which seemed to release tensions and perhaps some inner demons, his victory in the Olympic final at the same venue a few weeks later and, more importantly still, his breakthrough Grand Slam win at the US Open later that summer silencing those who claimed he would never be quite good enough to win one of the sport’s most coveted titles.

His ending, the following summer, of the 77 year British wait for a homegrown winner of Wimbledon was all the more remarkable given that there are more grass tennis courts at each of Wimbledon, Queen’s Club and the Hurlingham Club, to name but three of the leafier establishments to London’s west, than there are in the whole of Scotland.

Ever more so considering all that he has had to cope with over the past year. While he was aided on the doubles court by the only other Briton to know what it is to be world tennis number one, his older brother, it was Murray’s perfect 10 wins in the 10 matches he played that closed another yawning gap in the British tennis history books, with last year’s Davis Cup win.

With Novak Djokovic looking ever more dominant on the singles court, however, there was every reason to presume that it was the Serbian who would be the man setting new standards in 2016 as he subjected Murray to a fifth defeat in the Australian Open in final, going on to do so in the French Open final to be the owner of all four Grand Slam titles at the same time.

When we arrived at Wimbledon in June there was almost a presumption that the Serbian’s domination was such that a single season Grand Slam, something that had been beyond even Federer and achieved by no-one since the days of ‘Rocket’ Rod Laver, was there for the taking.

Murray, meanwhile, had the greatest of possible excuses for claiming that tennis had dropped down his priorities following the life changing experience of becoming a father for the first time.

His response to that happening had been telling, though, as he and his British team-mates got their Davis Cup defence underway. With little in the way of match practise behind him, the way he out-lasted world number five Kei Nishikori in an encounter that matched the longest time he had ever spent on court, when beating Djokovic to win his US Open title in 2012, defied logic, but justified his claim that the birth of daughter Sophia had given him a new level of motivation.

Even so, there were those who sought to insinuate that his second Wimbledon triumph had not been as great as the first because the path had been cleared by others, most notably in the early departure of Djokovic at the hands of Sam Querrey. However that victory was in reality the kick start to a run in the second half of 2016 that would eclipse what Djokovic had achieved in its first five months.

He followed that Wimbledon triumph by becoming the first man to win two Olympic singles gold medals as he defended the title won in 2012 and even his most notable defeat of the year, which effectively ended Britain’s Davis Cup title defence as Juan Martin del Potro gained revenge for that defeat in Rio in the opening tie of the semi-final, demonstrated his depth of character as he again broke new ground in spending more than five hours on court for the first time on the day of his grandfather’s funeral.

Read more: Sir Chris Hoy: Andy Murray, World No 1, is Scotland's greatest ever sportsperson

He has looked close to invincible in winning 20 successive matches and while, after all that has gone before, it was perversely ironic that he finally reached world number one status on a day he was inactive, Milos Raonic, the man he had beaten in the Wimbledon final, could not have been blamed had he decided he did not want to be the closest of witnesses to another Murray coronation when he became world number one in marginally unsatisfactory fashion with a semi-final walkover in Paris.

All that is now left is to continue to pursue that Holy Grail of an Australian Open win and, having demonstrated a capacity to win on clay when beating Djokovic at this year’s Italian Open before then losing to him at the French Open, look to complete a full set of titles.

That would elevate Murray to yet another level in terms of tennis history, but whether he achieves it or not his place at the very top of the list of all-time Scottish sporting greats has long been secure and he is making it ever less likely that anyone else will ever get close to surpassing his achievements.