'You've been shot': Durante opens up on astonishing story
Wellington Phoenix captain Andrew Durante has recounted the extraordinary story of how he was shot in the chest on the sideline of a suburban football pitch as a teenager.
Durante, then 17, had been substituted during a trial match for Sydney Olympic's reserves side at Mahoney Park in Marrickville in 1999 when a team-mate noticed blood on his playing kit.
"My dad lifted up my shirt and I had this blood dripping down my chest and he was like 'you've been shot'," Durante told Kiwi publication Stuff.
"Then obviously there was a bit of a frenzy and everyone was screaming 'he's been shot, he's been shot'.
"The game got scrapped straight away and everyone ran to the changing rooms at the opposite end of the field."
The remarkable incident resurfaced from an old Australian and British Soccer Weekly article published to social media this week.
Durante admitted to "thinking the worst" at the time but said the trajectory of the bullet meant it lodged under his armpit and caused no lasting problems.
The New Zealand international recalled to Stuff that the perpetrator was never found but that another shooting had also been reported at the neighbouring golf course earlier that day.
"There was probably just some idiot up there shooting from his house or up on the street taking random pop shots at people," he said.
"I remember the players saying when they were interviewed that they heard things whistling past their heads but they didn't know what they were, so it could have been so much worse than what it was but fortunately it wasn't that bad."
Durante, now 36, returned to playing within a matter of weeks and has gone on to have a long and distinguished career at club and international level.
The defender is the Hyundai A-League's all-time leading appearance maker and has been a key figure in Wellington's impressive form this season.