You asked the question*, and now we know the answer. Royal Mail will mark Andy Murray Wimbledon Men's Singles Championship with an Olympic-style miniature sheet on 8 August 2013. This is the first in a new series of Special Stamp issues to honour our most successful sportsmen and women.
This comment is worth highlighting in the main blog:
"I'm still a bit old fashioned with soaking stamps off. The purple (value
and line on sheet) runs very badly if you soak. When I asked the
Philatelic Counter people in Edinburgh about this they had the cheek to
say to me that "stamps are for postage and we don't check if they soak".
Are they really saying this sheet is for Postage!??! Astounding!"
On Sunday, 7th July Andy Murray beat the World Number One, Novak Djokovic, 6-4 7-5 6-4 in the Gentlemen’s Singles Lawn Tennis Final at Wimbledon to become the first British male to win the tournament since Fred Perry in 1936.
To celebrate this tremendous achievement, which Andy himself described as the “pinnacle of tennis”, Royal Mail is issuing a Miniature Sheet on 8th August. The Miniature Sheet will contain four stamps each featuring a photo of the champion from the final itself including two in which he is triumphantly holding the coveted trophy.
Also available with this special Miniature Sheet is a First Day Cover and Presentation Pack. The First Day Cover features photographs of Andy from the final while the Presentation Pack explores the progress of his tennis career from his first matches at Dunblane Sports Club, and includes a summary of his Wimbledon 2013 success.
Update later on 18 July
The printer for this issue is announced by Royal Mail as International Security Printers, and they have clarified this terminology:
an internal reorganisation within the WSP group of companies, the group
is now known as ISP. All future print references will reflect this and
we have no plans to go down to the level of specifying the particular
Now, we're going on holiday, so won't be able to moderate any comments on this, so a few answers:
- the four stamps are 2 x 1st class and 2 x £1.28 which pays the 40g airmail rate to Europe and the 20g rate to the rest of the world.
- Royal Mail almost never issues special stamps at the surface mail rate, which is why there is no 78p stamp.
- Royal Mail have said in the past that to be economically viable (ie worth the effort of processing stocking and processing it) the face value has to be at least £3.50 - which is why this mix of stamps is included and not 4 x 1st class.
- Many people will be pleased with this stamp issue and Royal Mail clearly expect that it will be widely bought by tennis fans. They know that some collectors will be upset by yet another sporting miniature sheet showing a living person but they believe the business arguments in favour outweigh the arguments against. They no longer build the stamp issue programme around the collectors who buy one of everything.
Finally.... don't shoot the messenger!
Update 13 August
Several people have reported that their Post Office branch received no FDCs for this issue. I have personally checked one sub-PO that still hasn't received any. I did find that Dereham crown office received them and sold most of their sheets early on the day of issue.
* Paul Yarden comment on Dinosaur stamp issue!
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