Tony Williams, a former solder and driver for Team BRIT has been shortlisted for a Pride of St Helen’s Award.
Tony, from St Helen’s is one of three finalists for the overall award, which looks to raise aspiration across St Helen’s by highlighting inspiring stories of achievement, resilience, courage and talent.
Team BRIT aims to be the first ever all-disabled team to race in Le Mans 24 hour endurance race. They have started their motor sport journey in the Fun Cup Championship this year. The majority of the team’s drivers are ex or serving military personnel who have sustained serious injuries and are disabled.
Tony, who served as a Corporal in the Queen Alexandra Royal Army Nursing Corps suffered extreme injuries when serving in Afghanistan in 2010. He survived two grenade blasts before being shot six times, three weeks later, whilst giving life-saving treatment to an injured soldier that had been shot. During the attack, he was shot multiple times and suffered injuries including a broken hip, torn bowels and a broken spine, paralysing him from the waist down. He also sustained a mild traumatic brain injury by being hit in a grenade attack, with shrapnel embedded into his forehead.
He was told he was unlikely to walk again and had less than 5% chance of fathering children, was unlikely to regain full bladder function and had suffered severe nerve damage to his lower legs. Tony can now walk, although he has paralysis in his left leg and a ‘dropped’ foot, so uses a leg brace. He is also the proud father to two children.
Tony spent a year with the charity KartForce, racing in 24hr races, such a British 24hrs, Le Mans, 24 hrs of Majorca, and smaller endurance races around the UK. He began driving for Team BRIT in 2016 and took part in the Spa 5 hour endurance race earlier this year.
Yesterday, Thursday 5th October, the finalists were announced ahead of an awards ceremony due to be held at the Totally Wicked Stadium in St Helen’s on November 10th.
Tony said; “I am both honoured and humbled to be shortlisted for such an award.
“I really didn’t expect this and would like to thank the organisers for this recognition. I hope that by sharing my story, and those of the other finalists, we can inspire others to break boundaries and try things they never thought possible.”
Further information on the awards is available