Daily Echo
Monday 24th May 2010
By Stephen Bailey »

IF you’ve ever gone windsurfing in Studland Bay and got annoyed with another sailor, it’s good you decided to back off, because SAS soldier turned author Andy McNab has done a spot of windsurfing there himself – not that you would have recognised him.

The photo-shy Special Forces legend was visiting Dorset on business last week to give a lecture at Bovington Tank Museum and promote his new book, War Torn.

He appears at lectures with this face visible but asks for no photography – but do audiences try and get sneaky pictures of him anyway?

“People are all right – they know there’s a serious reason for it,” he told the Daily Echo, “because of the stuff I did in Northern Ireland.”

That “stuff” was working with the secretive 14 Intelligence Company trying to recruit informers.

If people recognise Andy, they could suddenly realise a Republican friend had actually been associating with the enemy.

McNab has been to the Tank Museum before and knows Dorset well, partly thanks to training with the Special Boat Service at Poole. And he is an honorary member of the 2 Rifles sergeant’s mess, a battalion of the regiment which replaced the Devon and Dorsets.

His new book tells the story of an ordinary soldier during the Afghanistan war and his wife’s anxious wait for news back home.

McNab keeps up-to-date by going to Afghanistan three or four times a year, either as a military commentator, or through his work with a private security firm.

However the fame his exploits with the Bravo Two Zero patrol during the 1991 Gulf War brings puts him in the spotlight among soldiers.

If there’s gunfire and he ducks first, he gets stick for a week. “I have to wait for them to get into cover first,” he laughed.

He added: “The lads are alright. They’re a bit quiet in the five to 10 minutes after a contact, then they all want to be in the book, they want to be in the newspaper column.”

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