'You inspire me:' Football legend David Beckham's video message for Doncaster's Ben Parkinson
Football legend David Beckham has sent Doncaster war hero Ben Parkinson a video message telling him: “I’ve always been so inspired by you.”
The ex-England and Manchester United hero got in touch with paratrooper Ben to congratulate him on the release of a new book telling his dramatic story.
Losing The Battle, Winning The War, tells how Britain’s most badly injured soldier has battled back from the brink of death since losing both his legs in a blast 15 years ago to take on a number of amazing charity challenges as well as learning to walk and talk again.
And Ben’s incredible journey inspired the football icon to get in touch with a message of support.
He said: “I wanted to send you a message to congratulate you on your incredible book and for all of the things that you have achieved in your life since we met at the Millies all those years ago.”
The pair were first introduced in 2014 at the ‘Millies’ – a series of military awards events set up by The Sun newspaper to honour Britain’s war heroes.
He added: “I’ve always been so inspired by you and all that you have done for our country.
"We truly owe you a huge debt of gratitude. Your story continues to inspire so many and I am so pleased the world will get to read your book.
"I hope to see you again soon one day. Sending lots of love to you and your family.”
Ben suffered 37 injuries when his Land Rover hit a mine in Helmand in 2006, including brain damage, breaking his back and losing both his legs.
In the days after the blast, doctors told the family to prepare for the worst.
But that was just the start of an amazing road to recovery which saw Ben, 36, defy the medics, learning to walk and talk again – and his incredible and moving walk through Doncaster town centre with the Olympic torch in 2012 when thousands of people cheered him on in one of the most emotional events ever seen in the town.
* Losing The Battle, Winning The War by Ben Parkinson, published on April 29 by Little, Brown, priced at £20.