A big-hearted bus driver has put a smile on the face of a budding young rugby player by buying him a new ball – after bursting the old one underneath his wheels.
Glasgow man Ian Macgillivray, 55, was mortified when he inadvertently brought a kick-about to a premature end.
The small group of teenagers were playing with the ball on Inveraray’s front green on Sunday evening.
Mr Macgillivray was on the Campbeltown to Glasgow run and was pulling out after a short break in the Royal Burgh when disaster struck.
A stray kick sent the ball underneath the wheels of the West Coast Motors bus as it was slowly exiting the bus stop and joining the A83.
After hearing a loud “pop”, the driver felt terrible and decided to buy a new ball and track the lads down.
His post on the A83 users’ Facebook group was spotted by Anne MacColl, mother of 16-year-old Archie, owner of the ball.
The big-hearted bus driver arranged to meet Archie and his friends to hand over the new ball when he travelled through Inveraray again yesterday.
Mr Macgillivray said: “I would have been gutted if it was me so I thought I would buy a replacement and try to find them through Facebook. I couldn’t believe the amount of likes and comments on my post.
“I managed to contact Archie’s mum and told her if he came to the bus stop on Friday there would be a new rugby ball to replace the one I broke.
“The boys were playing on the field across from the bus stop. As I was leaving, the ball bounced across in front of the bus. I didn’t see that it had hit a wall and rolled under so I carried on. I heard a pop as the ball went under the wheel.
“I felt terrible so I just thought it would be nice to do something nice.”
“He didn’t have to do that at all.”
The big-hearted Glasgow man is normally a tour bus driver, but as a result of the pandemic has been working on the service run instead.
Archie said: “It was really nice of him. He didn’t have to do that at all.
“We were just messing about with the rugby ball on the front green.
“One of my pals kicked it. It wasn’t the greatest kick in the world and the ball went straight across the road. It went in front of the bus. The driver didn’t see it rolling back underneath then there was a loud pop.
“It was a pretty loud bang. We found it quite funny. Then my mum told me about the message on Facebook.
“I haven’t played a game of rugby since March last year or done any training with the team. So I forced some of my friends to come out and do it. It is good to get out and do stuff again.”
Mum Anne MacColl said: “There were four of them playing rugby on the front green and one of them went to kick the ball. It was a freak kick and the ball went flying.
“Archie plays for the Mid Argyll rugby team and has been missing playing proper rugby. He has been trying to get some of his friends who don’t play to have a go.
“It was really kind of the driver to do what he did.”