Former firefighter David wins first Scotland cap eight years after horror accident

David Melrose never thought he would play sport again after his accident in 2010
David Melrose never thought he would play sport again after his accident in 2010

In July 2010, sport could not have been further from the mind of David Melrose as the then 44-year-old was left in a wheelchair by a life-changing accident sustained when working as a retained firefighter.

In November 2018, however, sport, and curling in particular, is a huge part of David’s life. Now 52, he picked up his first Scotland cap last month, as well as being selected for the GB Curling Performance squad in August.

David, who sustained his injuries whilst tackling a blaze at Eyemouth Golf Course, was a keen golfer – having played off a handicap of just four– and played football in the East of Scotland League.

David’s accident was a horrifying one, and one that he was sure would end his sporting career completely.

“I was called out to a fire in Eyemouth, and was asked to go in and check the door.

“I went up to the door to see if we could fight the fire and a steel beam rolled off the top of the building and landed on my shoulders and broke my back.”

“I thought my sporting career was over,” he told the Berwickshire News.

“I was determinded to do something after the accident, but I didn’t know what.

“I didn’t properly appreciate what was involved.”

However, David’s career is from from over – in fact his international curling career has only just begun.

“It’s unbelievable. When you get a chance to play for your country it’s indescribable.

“The first competition was probably a bit of a haze because I was just so proud to have been picked to play for Scotland.”

The 52-year-old started curling in 2014 and says the four years leading up to his international call-up have been difficult, but more than worth it.

“It’s been hard work,” he added.

“During the summer I started practicing a lot more up at Stirling and that was where I was noticed by the Great Britain coaches.

“Since I joined the programme in July, it’s been a different world.

“I laughed and thought ‘Aye, me as an athlete?’ but everything is there for you.”