Former RAF sergeant Duncan Slater, who lost both legs in a bomb blast in Afghanistan but has gone on to overcome one amazing challenge after another, have been chosen as the Overall Champion and Against All Odds winner in the Amplifon Awards For Brave Britons 2021.
Duncan, 42, of Scole, Norfolk, who has raised thousands of pounds for charities including the RAF Benevolent Fund was said by the judges to have shown the best of British spirit.
The Overall Champion award was presented by Falklands War hero Simon Weston, who, over the years, has been an inspiration to Duncan.
Duncan said: "To win these awards is unbelievable. It’s a huge privilege just to be here amongst all the other finalists.
"I don't want to embarrass him but Simon Weston has been a huge inspiration of mine. I have followed a lot of the stuff he has done and I just think he is an amazing human being.
"I can't believe I have won these awards. It’s just phenomenal. It’s just topped of my year perfectly."
The virtual awards ceremony was hosted by BBC 1 TV’s Breakfast show and Radio 5 Live presenter Rachel Burden.
RAF Benevolent Fund Controller Air Vice-Marshal Chris Elliot said: "We are immensely proud of Duncan and all he has achieved. Huge congratulations to him and his family on this richly deserved award. He is an inspiration to us all."
Explaining the thinking behind the judges' decision, Simon said: "The award goes to a person who exemplifies what the Amplifon awards represent – and that’s the Best of British.
"Duncan has overcome his own adversities, not only to achieve great things in their life but also to make an indelible inspirational stamp on the whole nation.
"He is an individual who doesn't know when to give up. He bears no malice when he could be filled with anger. He has made it his mission to make a mark on society in a positive and productive manner."
Duncan, who is originally from Muir of Ord, near Inverness, Scotland, joined the RAF Regiment when he was 19 following in the footsteps of his dad and grandad who both served in the RAF.
In 2009 he broke almost every bone in his body and lost both legs when the armoured vehicle he was travelling in was struck by a roadside bomb in Helmand Province.
After spending five months in hospital and then recovery time at home his friend Christopher Moore suggested they do a bike ride together. Not any bike ride but from Land’s End to John O'Groats.
Since then he has completed the London Marathon, become the first double amputee to reach the South Pole and finished the gruelling Marathon de Sables in the Sahara desert.
For his incredible efforts Duncan was made a Honorary Freeman of Diss at the town's annual meeting in front of his wife Kim, 37, and daughter Lilly, 11.
As an ambassador for Walking With The Wounded Duncan visits schools and businesses giving inspirational talks.