THERE are some songs guaranteed not to leave a dry eye in the house. Danny Boy, as played at Senator John McCain’s funeral, is one. The Scots equivalent, Loch Lomond, is another. From which other location would a truly, madly, deeply Scottish person sign off but by yon bonnie banks and by yon bonnie braes? None, and Andy Murray knew it.

On Instagram the other day, the double Wimbledon and Olympic champion and former world number one apologised to fans hoping to see him play in the Davis Cup in Glasgow next week. Murray said the match against Uzbekistan, in which he was expected to line up for GBR alongside his brother Jamie, would have been “possibly my last chance to compete in Scotland as a professional”.

Then came the clinching paragraph. “If I don’t get the chance to compete in Scotland again I just want to say thank you so much to all the fans who have come along to watch and support the team over the years. Having been born in Glasgow and growing up in Scotland I would never have imagined I would see such passionate fans packing out stadiums for tennis matches. Playing with my big bro in those stadiums has been very, very special. I’ll miss you by yon bonnie banks and by yon bonnie braes.” With that, the epistle equivalent of shooting Bambi’s mother, he was off.

There has been no announcement of Murray retiring, and he could go on playing in competition for a while to come. Nevertheless, the Instagram post read like the start of a long goodbye to the sport that has brought him fame and riches. That he pulled out of a tournament in Glasgow, of all places, is significant and confirms his comeback after hip surgery is a long way from assured. As he says, the city is where he and Jamie were born. Dunblane, the place with which they are most often associated, was where they grew up. The Glasgow events have been special in other ways. Unlike at Wimbledon, particularly during the row over supporting Anyone But England at football, he could count on unconditional love from his home crowd.

If this is cheerio it could be certainly be taken as an occasion for mourning, a chance to reflect sadly on the end of an era. There are few things Scots enjoy more, after all, than a good old wallow in melancholy. Football aside, it is practically the national sport. If you cut us, do we not bleed fructose, glucose and lachrymose? Even if there are plenty more deserving of our sympathy than a 31-year-old, happily married, multimillionaire father of two, we could still give it a go.

Yet if Murray’s career to date has shown Scotland anything it is the importance of overturning accepted norms, of taking the rule book of Scottishness and pitching it out the window of a 20-storey flat along with those blessed jeely pieces. Instead of lamenting the passing of something, we could go mad and celebrate what has been achieved. How very daring.

Some younger readers may not fully appreciate what it was like in the BM, Before Murray, era. The first item to go into the Murray shredder was the romantic notion that sporting success was something miraculous, or, more patronising still, a matter of luck. As such, it could not really be explained, far less be something that could be broken down into parts and built upon. How else but with reference to mystical forces could one explain a squad of skinny kids born within 30 miles of Parkhead going on to win the European Cup?

Murray showed that sporting greats are certainly born – there is no getting away from natural talent – but they could also be shaped. Hence leaving home at 15 to go to a tennis academy in Barcelona. Hence being driven to endless tournaments by his mother, Judy. Hence the decision to focus everything on becoming superfit enough to win at the highest level. Wall Street's Gordon Gekko reckoned greed was good; Murray thought the same way about winning. Being a plucky loser was for, well, losers. No wonder the crowds at Flushing Meadows took to Murray, and the US Open became his first Grand Slam win. His national designation was GBR, but in attitude he was pure New York City.

The professionalism that Murray personified was one factor among many that fed the building of world class training facilities and sporting arenas that have brought so much to Scotland, whether in attracting tournaments and visitors or helping local athletes achieve their potential. Top flight sport is finally seen as a bit more than fun and games.

Murray has had an impact in other ways, not least being a mentor to Aiden McHugh, who, at the time of writing, was heading into a second round match in the junior boys’ singles at the US Open.

Murray’s mother, through the Judy Murray Foundation, is taking tennis somewhere it has never been before – into some of the poorer parts of society. Girls and boys born a long, long, way from Wimbledon will now have a chance of picking up a tennis racquet.

Among Murray’s other achievements is one that is impossible to measure but hard to deny. Here, be warned, things are going to get decidedly, perhaps nauseatingly, mushy and un-Scottish. But here goes. Murray’s success is one of many things that has made Scotland stand a bit taller in the world, that has ensured today’s youngsters know little or nothing of the cringe that blighted the confidence of previous generations. Today’s young Scots like how they talk. They are proud of where they come from. Time was, as per Renton’s rural rant in Trainspotting, being Scottish was deemed a poor state of affairs (I paraphrase). Young Scots can watch that scene now and laugh; for the rest of us it was a bit too close to the truth.

Murray is still a young man. Courtesy of the investments he has made he and his family will never want for anything. He has paved the way for what we all hope for in life, a second act, maybe even a third one. If this is the start of the end, for all the reasons cited and more, there can be few today not wishing him well. As one fan said, it has been a blast, for Scotland as much as Murray.