Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 13 July 2014

Soldiers grateful for Heroes event

Concertgoers at the Help For Heroes Concert at Twickenham Stadium

Injured service personnel have spoken of their gratitude after thousands of people turned out for a charity gig to support the armed forces.

Twickenham Stadium in London hosted 60,000 people on Sunday as stars including Robbie Williams, Gary Barlow, Alexandra Burke, Peter Kay and Bruce Forsyth performed for the Help For Heroes charity.

Trooper James Dolby of The Royal Dragoon Guards was hit by an improvised explosive device (IED) in June while working as part of a clearance operation in southern Afghanistan.

The 19-year-old, from York, broke his arm, leg and eye socket in the explosion in June which killed his comrade Trooper Ashley Smith.

Speaking from Twickenham, Trooper Dolby said Help For Heroes had supported him since he returned.

"In the past people haven't had the opportunity to see about the injured lads that come back from Afghanistan the media focus more on the deaths," he said.

"It is important that people know that lads come back injured who need the money and support to be able to have a normal life again."

Lance Corporal Wyn Austin said it was "amazing" to see the support from the crowd in the stadium.

The 22-year-old amputee, from Grantham, Leicestershire, got to meet Williams on Friday.

He said: "Robbie came to see us and we got to have a picture with him and The Saturdays. He just came up and shook our hands and he was normal with us which is how we want people to be with us. It is brilliant to be here today and see the crowds of people supporting us. Help For Heroes are doing as much as they can to help us out and it's just great."

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