This issue: Despite a career cut tragically short, he was one of the best and most explosive players ever to pull on a Bolts bullet vest…..
Vernon “The Infector” Douglas
…. simply known to his teammates as VD.
Raised and inbred in Ipswich just west of the Queensland capital, Vernon Douglas’s first brush with venereal diseases came courtesy of a bad dose of chlamydia that he caught from his foster mother’s breast milk at the age of nine.
Vernon (pictured at top) had a relatively happy childhood although infectious diseases once again plagued him in his teenage years, first contracting gonorrhea from a family pet at age 14 and then HIV during a blood transfusion at 18 after he lost a dare bet with mates and tried to have sex with a lantana bush at the back of the Bremer High School sports fields.
Not the least bit ashamed of the various venereal disease pustules that blighted his face, limbs and body, Vernon nevertheless eschewed any relationships with living human females and turned to sport.
At first he played conventional games but came home from his first school rugby union match complaining to his mother that “it was a lot of fun but then no-one got hurt”.
He turned to district rugby league but was banned from the sport for life over a spear tackle that went horribly wrong. In his defence, Vernon claimed he had no idea spears weren’t allowed on the playing field.
He turned to water polo – sports administrators made him wear a full, skin-tight face and body suit so as not to turn the pool water pus-coloured – but left that sport after three mysterious drownings, two on his own team.
Vernon finally found a sport suited to his unique skill set when he began playing for the Brisbane Bolts’ feeder team, the Ebbw Vale Executors.
His skills and speed at constructing defensive moats complete with poisoned stakes helped bring the Ebbw Vale side its first district premiership and with it the notice of Bolts’ officials including then coach and now club CEO, Terry Verandah, who was most impressed with Vernon’s injury-to-fatality conversion rate during post-game celebrations.
As he famously said at the time: “Vernon’s skills makes every other player on the field look like they’re dead, especially the dead ones.”
Verandah also turned Vernon into a very offensive player who led many successful third-triage charges with a mixture of bravery and stupidity that stunned present and passed-away JDG stars.
Unfortunately, Vernon never got to raise the famous JDG premiership skull-and-bones trophy or drink deadly 240 proof absinthe from its golden cup.
In the semi-final match against the Perth Peritonials late in the season of 2014, a wrongly primed claymore blew Vernon’s head clean off.
Although he finished the match, Vernon was never the same player again and in the following week a reluctant Verandah ignored death threats and the kidnapping of his entire family to drop the star from the match that was to bring the Brisbane Bolts premiership glory against the Fitzroy Fistfuckers, four deaths to three with one inoperable prolapse.
Disclaimer: The Bug has been a long-time official sponsor of The Brisbane Bolts.