A FORMER Royal Marine, who had his right leg amputated after suffering horrific injuries while serving in Afghanistan, has set a new 10k world record for below-the-knee amputees.
Andy Grant, 28, completed his amazing run in just 37m 17s – only 11 minutes slower than the current able-bodied 10k record, held by Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele.
“I am now officially the fastest man on one leg,” said Andy, from Walton, Liverpool.
The event took place at Liverpool Harriers’ track and was attended by family and friends as well as some famous faces including former Liverpool FC star Jamie Carragher.
“It was a really special night,” said Andy, who last year won gold medals (400m and 1500m) and a bronze (4x100m relay) at the Invictus Games.
Apart from overcoming lots of personal challenges, Andy is also patron of a charity that uses sport, to tackle social exclusion by getting unemployed people back into work.
He said: “The School of Hard Knocks is about changing lives through sport, working as a team and overcoming life’s hurdles.
“So for me to break the world record wearing the SOHK vest, surrounded by my friends and family, was the perfect night.”
A brilliant motivational speaker, a friend of Prince Harry, Andy has climbed some of the highest mountains in Europe and abseiled down the Shard in London – setbacks don’t hold him back
Aged just 12, Andy lost his mum to leukaemia, leaving him to help his dad bring up his two younger sisters.
At 17, he decided after a year of A levels, that he needed a different challenge and was drawn into the Royal Marines by a single TV advert.
After completing the Royal Marine Commando training, he earned his coveted green beret and served in operation in Iraq and Afghanistan for nearly seven years, before being medically discharged after serious injuries in Afghanistan.
He spent two weeks in an induced coma, and 18 months in and out of hospital before eventually deciding to have his leg amputated.
Since then, Andy has practiced what he preaches and lives each day like it is his last.
His next challenge is the Marathon des Sables, the toughest foot race in the world, which he will take part in 2018.
- SOHK was set up by Ken Cowen, a teacher by training, who found that a few sessions on a rugby pitch was the surest way of instilling some discipline and control into tearaway pupils about to be excluded from school.
- SOHK is helping many desperate people to get off the sidelines of life and turn the job market with a little help from the Royals, bankers, corporates and many private individuals who see that rugby can be so much more than a game.
- SOHK Tel 0203 714 0127