A VETERAN who had his left leg ripped apart by a bomb in Afghanistan eight years ago says he is the proudest man in the world after achieving gold medal glory at the Invictus Games.

Greg Dunnings, who works at the School of Military which is based on Brewery Lane in Leigh, won gold for the UK in the four-minute indoor rowing event in Canada.

The 26-year-old also came agonisingly close to winning the one-minute row in Toronto, Canada, missing out by just five metres in picking up a silver medal.

Greg said: “Competing in the Invictus Games was an absolutely amazing experience and I am so proud to have won a gold and silver medal.

“All the 5am training sessions I put myself through were worthwhile.

"I trained really hard for the games and was fully focused but it was not until I got there that I realised how good the games and the competitors are.”

He also finished seventh in the shot put and competed in the discus and 50 metres freestyle and breaststroke swimming events.

Greg is no stranger to competing, having won several strongman competitions in the past and earned a silver medal at the WPC European Powerlifting and Single Lift Championships in Stoke last year.

He had previously played rugby for the Army.

Greg was medically discharged from the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards in 2014 after an improvised explosive device (IED) left him with horrific injuries to his legs.

A skilled surgeon managed to save his legs but Greg spent four weeks in hospital, four months in a wheelchair and four months on crutches.

His platoon sergeant died in the explosion and another soldier lost both his legs.

Greg added: “One of the best things about the games was meeting other athletes from different nations.

"It made me realise that no matter where you are in the world there is always someone there who has been through similar experiences.

“I definitely made some friends for life.”

He now works as a military mentor in schools, using his experience to pass on practical skills to children.

Greg, from Preston, will start a new career as a firefighter for the Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service in January.

The eight-day Invictus Games, an international Paralympic-style games for wounded, injured or sick armed forces personnel and veterans instigated by Prince Harry, ended on Saturday.