A WILTSHIRE-BASED-based amateur who took up golf after his son was killed while on duty in Iraq is playing in the Lombard Trophy qualifying round at Parkstone Golf Club.

West Knoyle's Richard Hull will be trying to clinch a place in the Portugal final when he partners Wheathill Golf Club PGA professional Mark Singleton in the event on July 6.

The 60-year-old only started playing golf after his son Matthew lost his life in ‘friendly fire’ 13 years ago.

Because Matthew was a keen golfer, Richard decided to start playing.

The 19-handicapper admits the reasons behind his decision to carry on where his son left off, make the event even more meaningful for him.

“When Matthew was killed, I said I’d play every Sunday morning instead of him. Everyone used to call him Matty. He was a member of the Blues and Royals and used to play golf and football for them,” said Richard.

“I’d never played golf before then, but I said ‘Let’s carry it on’. He would play golf wherever he could because he was in the army. He didn’t play around my area as he was based up north.

“My original club was shut down and I looked at around 20 or 30 different clubs and found Wheathill, and I love it there and I love golf - you ask my wife, she gets fed up with me having it on TV all the while.”

Richard works at a brush making factory called The Little Brush Company and will turn 61 a week after the Parkstone event.

The Wheathill pair will be aiming to reach the £41,450 National Pro-Am final which is being held at the Vila Sol resort in the Algarve from September 21-22.

And Richard admits he will be happy if the stakes are raised during the qualifier at the Dorset venue.

“I tend to thrive on pressure, the more pressure the better I do, but I’ve been playing a lot recently to try and get things together on the day,” said Richard.

“I was a bit surprised to get through, I came second in the club competition but the chap who won couldn’t make it.”

Other teams due to take part in the event at Parkstone include North Wilts professional Graham Laing, 61, with 56-year-old Martin Fozzard, an estimator surveyor from Calne, who won his club qualifying round with a nett score 64 and plays off a handicap of 15.

Urchfont teacher Michael Dolan, 69, who is a 10-handicapper, will also feature alongside Erlestoke Golf Club professional Stephen Blazey, 51.