IT is very sad to see such lawless and loutish behaviour in these difficult times with yobs shooting out bus and car windows with air guns.

It takes me back many many years ago when my old Durham City RFC mate John Denham was refereeing a Sunderland rugby team on their pitches at Ryhope Road and the Sunderland flyhalf was a larger than life player called Dougie Urquhart who was at least twice as big as Johnny Wilkinson. Dougie made a break with the ball and then screamed as he went down clutching his thigh. Everyone thought he had torn his hamstring but he had been shot!

A gang of youths with an airgun had been taking pot shots at the players and had hit Dougie. Needless to say they and their gun were sorted out by the players.

Dougie may have played representative rugby in Rhodesia but his claim to fame was when he was an extra in the film Wild Geese being filmed in Rhodesia. The star of the film was Richard Burton, and he and Dougie became firm friends, trying to out-drink each other. Burton won!

Dougie was the first soldier to be shot on the runway in the opening credits of the film.

I had the pleasure of playing Vets Rugby with Dougie at Durham City RFC when he was landlord at the Railway Tavern at Shincliffe. I also attended his wake in the Tavern. Quite a guy!

I wonder how many players have been shot while playing sport?

Malcolm Rolling, Durham.