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Prince's rousing words for UK Invictus heroes

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Prince Harry jokes while posing for a group photo with athletes as he attends the launch of the UK's Invictus Games team at the Tower of London. The games take place in Toronto, Canada, in September

Prince Harry jokes while posing for a group photo with athletes as he attends the launch of the UK's Invictus Games team at the Tower of London. The games take place in Toronto, Canada, in September

PA

Prince Harry jokes while posing for a group photo with athletes as he attends the launch of the UK's Invictus Games team at the Tower of London. The games take place in Toronto, Canada, in September

Prince Harry has urged the UK's Invictus Games team to grasp the opportunity the sporting tournament will give the wounded, sick and injured competitors as they battle back to fitness.

Harry launched the 90-strong squad, who will compete in the Paralympic-style competition in Toronto, at the Tower of London - with some Beefeaters for company.

The prince, who has been the driving force behind the event, joked with the competitors, telling them: "Whether you are blowing smoke out of your a*** as you cross the line makes no difference. It is what you are achieving, what you have achieved to get there."

The team's new captain was announced - former Grenadier Guards Major Bernie Broad (50) - and, in a poignant moment, a six-year-old girl delivered a speech thanking Harry for founding the Games and describing how it has helped her mother.

Mr Broad, who lost both legs below the knee following an explosion in Afghanistan's Helmand Province in 2009, said: "When I got injured it's amazing what I lost - confidence, ability, stature. I didn't like being seen because of various injuries, but now to have tapped a button saying 'I want to have a go at being captain' and getting the job on my first Invictus Games was just brilliant."

Later at a reception at Plaisterers' Hall in the City of London, Harry told the UK team: "The Invictus Games has always been a launch pad, everyone is here for different reasons and only you will know that reason, you and your family and your friends as well.

"But make the most of this opportunity - this is your opportunity, your chance, and for many of you I know this is a second chance at life."

Belfast Telegraph