A 78-year-old ex-England rugby player has stopped a burglary using only a mug of tea.

Three men tried to break into his house in Malta but he threw hot tea in one man’s eyes and tried to hit another with the mug.

All the men were wearing balaclavas and one of them had a gun.

The ex-rugby player pretended that there were more people in the house by shouting lots of different names. But really it was only him and his wife at home.

He told the police the number plate of the men’s car but they said it was a fake.

Now he says he will be more careful about security and lock his windows and doors.



Ex- - former

Burglary – illegal entry of a building

Mug – large cup with a handle

Break into – enter a place or vehicle with force

Threw – past tense of throw, propel something with force

Balaclava – item of clothing that covers the head and neck but not the eyes

Pretend – act as if something is true but it is not

Shout – say something very loudly

Number plate – sign on the front and back of a vehicle showing it’s registration number

Fake – not real

Careful – be cautious and avoid danger


Think about

What item of clothing were the men wearing and why?

What information did the man give to the police?

What should people do for security in their home?