Paralysed St Helens soldier’s bid to compete in Le Mans race

Former soldier Tony Williams has now learnt to walk again with the aid of a leg brace
Former soldier Tony Williams has now learnt to walk again with the aid of a leg brace
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A St Helens military veteran who was told he may never walk again after he was shot six times is preparing to take part in Le Mans.

Tony Williams was shot six times as he was administering life-saving treatment to a solider whilst serving as a Corporal in the Queen Alexandra Royal Army Nursing Corps in Afghanistan seven years ago.

He is now a driver for Team BRIT, a motor racing team of disabled ex-troops, aiming to compete in Le Mans in 2020.

Should they achieve their ambition then they would become the first group of all-disabled drivers to compete at Le Mans, the pinnacle of motorsport endurance racing.

Following the shootings, Mr Williams was left paralysed from the waist down. He can now walk again thanks to rehabilitation, although he has paralysis in his left leg and a drop foot, so is forced to use a leg brace.

Mr. Williams said: “When I was injured, my whole world changed and so many opportunities were taken away from me.

“I had always been extremely active, and enjoyed skiing, rugby and hockey.

“With none of these things an option, I gained weight and became unfit. I had never considered motorsport before I got involved with KartForce and I’m so glad I gave it a go.

“When I’m racing I forget about the pain I experience and the adrenaline rush I had always found in sport returns. I want to inspire other people who think they can’t compete or enjoy sports such as this due to a disability, and most importantly, I want to make my children proud.”

Tony and his teammates will compete against able-bodied drivers on a completely level playing field thanks to advanced hand control technology, which allows drivers with injured legs or feet to compete.

Team BRIT’s season begins on Saturday, April 8 at the opening race of the Fun Cup series at Silverstone.