Fans to applaud hero Duncan at Canaries match
- Credit: Archant Norfolk
Norwich City fans will show their appreciation for a hero serviceman who lost both his legs after being hit by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan when he is invited pitch-side as the club's special guest on Saturday.
Before cheering on the Canaries against West Bromwich Albion, supporters at Carrow Road will applaud Sergeant Duncan Slater when he brings the official match ball onto the pitch before the start of the crunch Premiership game.
The 34-year-old of Scole has risen to national fame after he became the first double amputee to trek to the South Pole with a team of other injured service personnel and Prince Harry.
It followed an emotional four-year recovery journey after his patrol vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated by an insurgent.
Although Inverness-born Sgt Slater is a fan of Ross County in his native Scotland, he will cheer on the Canaries for the match.
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Before the fateful day of the explosion in 2009, Sgt Slater had given a decade of service to Queen and country, with tours of duty in Iraq and helping with the clear-up of Hurricane Katrina in the US.
In his joint Army, Navy and RAF role it was his job to help those wounded in action to get the medical attention they needed.
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But while on patrol training the new Afghan security forces in Babaji, Helmand province, it was him would rely on his colleagues to save his life after the explosion propelled him 30ft away into a compound. His wife Kim was five months pregnant with their daughter Lilly at the time.
He was bed-bound for four months in Selly Oak Hospital in Birmingham and fought a year-long battle to try and walk again at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Unit in Headley Court, Surrey.
But with the damage to his legs being too severe, Sgt Slater decided to have both his legs amputated so he could to play a more active role in his new-born daughter's life.
Since then he has gone from strength-to-strength, completing the trek to the South Pole – broadcast on ITV1 – and also training for this year's London Marathon.
What do you think of Sgt Slater's story? Write, giving your full contact details, to: EDP Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email EDPLetters@archant.co.uk