Fan asked for souvenir and ended up in medal muddle

WHEN a rugby-mad teenager went souvenir-hunting at Murrayfield he left with more than he'd bargained for.

While chasing autographs and mementoes from his sporting heroes at the final whistle following the Emirates IRB international sevens, Euan Catteral, 17, approached Samoa star player Mikaele Pesamino – whose team won the competition – for a keepsake.

The 26-year-old, who has scored the greatest number of tries in international sevens this season, obligingly handed over his shorts, impressively embroidered with Samoan logos.

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It was only when Euan was leaving the stadium that he realised he had fallen heir to an extra trophy – an engraved medal for winning the overall sevens grand-prix series was still in the pocket.

There was no question of Euan adding that to his collection.

"I knew straight away the medal had to go back," said Euan, a former pupil of Musselburgh's Loretto School.

"I ran to the ground and managed to find Mikaele and give him his medal."

Relieved he had returned the medal to its rightful owner, Euan continued his journey home, where he had another shock awaiting him.

In the other pocket was yet another medal, for Samoa winning the Edinburgh leg of the sevens circuit.

Euan said: "Fortunately, Scotland were playing a Japan Select a couple of days later at Murrayfield, so I contacted the Scottish Rugby Union and told them that, as I'd planned to attend, I'd bring the medal with me and return it then."

An SRU spokesman said: "Euan's call was timely because it coincided with Mikaele getting in touch in a bit of a panic.

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"Samoa had never won the series before and, in clinching the title in Edinburgh, he was particularly conscious that both medals were important mementoes.

"He was immensely relieved and grateful that Euan had got in touch immediately.

"We are in the process of liaising with Mikaele and his diary to ensure the medal can be returned as quickly and safely as possible.

"Meanwhile, it was great to welcome Euan and his dad to Murrayfield where, before Scotland faced a Japanese Select, he handed over the medal to international captain Chris Cusiter on behalf of Mikaele.

"Euan met with Chris in the players' area before kick-off and other members of the squad and management gathered round for a look at the medal. It's reassuring to know there are youngsters out there whose first instinct is honesty especially when they are, like Euan, heavily involved in playing rugby."

A winger with Haddington colts, Euan is planning to join the RAF in November.