Andrew Durante, now a 36 year old Wellington Phoenix captain has opened up about getting shot while playing for ‘Sydney Olympic’ as a 17-year-old in 1999. Recently, a bizarre news article resurfaced on social media over the weekend. He discussed how he didn’t realize that he’d been shot, but instead, thought he’d been hit by a rock.
The Australian-born New Zealand International football player was shot when he had just come off during a trial match for Sydney Olympic, which was then called UTS Olympic, at Mahoney Park in Marrickville in Sydney’s inner west.
Durante was 17 years old at the time, when he felt the bullet enter his body while he was wearing his jacket. Luckily, the bullet was shot at such an angle that it was lodged under his armpit, missing his vital organs.
An Olympic teammate pointed out that he was bleeding before his father lifted his shirt and told Durante that he’d been shot. Some frenzy followed him as everyone kept screaming that he’s been shot. The game was stopped right away and everyone ran to the locker rooms at the opposite end of the field.
Durante could only imagine the worst at the time. The doctor gave him a local anesthesia, made an incision and pulled out a bullet fired from a .22 caliber rifle. An inquiry was opened as the police got involved. It wasn’t a big setback as he got back on the field after a week or two.
The perpetrator was never found, though there had been reports of another shooting taken place at a nearby gol course.
Looking back in hindsight, this could have been catastrophic if the bullet had hit someone in the head. Speaking about the incident for the first time in public, Durante never really thought of bringing it up before the news clipping made its way to the social media platforms.