When Duns mini rugby player Max Martin ran out as a mascot with the Scottish team at Murrayfield on Saturday he was living out his dad Hayden’s dream.
Eight-year-old Max was lucky enough to win a ballot at Duns RFC’s Minis section to be one of the mascots at Saturday’s Autumn Test against the mighty All Blacks.
And there was no-one more delighted than dad Hayden who hails from New Zealand and is a fanatical supporter of the All Blacks - he has even named his house in Duns Eden Park after their national stadium.
Hayden explained that his childhood dream was to one day walk out onto the pitch with his beloved All Blacks. He got very close - he was once a mascot for a provincial side.
Max walked out onto the hallowed Murrayfield turf with Scotland’s Johnny Gray to the roar of a capacity 67,000 crowd and was seen on TV by all his family and friends.
Dad Hayden said: “Big thanks to Duns Minis, it was an awesome day, not just for Max but for the whole family. And all credit to the SRU, they laid everything on for Max.
“The players from both teams dedicated so much time to us after the match, it was a day we will never forget.
“Max is half New Zealander and half Scottish and here he was, getting to walk out with the Scotland team and stand on the same pitch as the mighty All Blacks, how close to your childhood dream can you get?
“When Max walked out with Johnny Gray and the Scotland team, I don’t know who was smiling more, him or his dad! Max said he was a bit nervous when he was waiting in the tunnel with all the noise and firworks etc, but he was fine when he was out on the pitch - and he even sang BOTH national anthems!
“Our whole family is grateful to Duns RFC Minis and the SRU for this great opportunity. It was an unforgettable day. And the All Blacks won - just!”