UK

Army Veteran Fulfills Dream At Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough

Richard Parker is facing a leg amputation but was given the opportunity to score a goal at the home of his beloved football team.

A British Army veteran has been able to fulfill one of his lifelong dreams at the Hillsborough home of his beloved Sheffield Wednesday Football Club.

Richard Parker is a huge supporter of the South Yorkshire side and was able to score a goal at the club's stadium at the Kop end.

Parker spent 21 years in the Army before being medically discharged in 2006.

During his military career, he was part of tours of Iraq, Northern Ireland, Sierra Leone, Yugoslavia, Bosnia and Kosovo.

He was involved in a life-changing incident in Iraq.

Parker explained: "Unfortunately, a few lads died. It left me 60% disabled.

"I spent three years in rehabilitation getting back to be able to walk and use my arm.

"It really destroyed me."

Army veteran Richard Parker taking a shot against Keiren Westwood at Hillsborough Stadium.

Earlier this year, he was dealt a blow when he was told that as part of his ongoing recovery, the lower part of his leg would have to be amputated.

Parker said: "Through everything that's happened, I'm looking at having a transtibial amputation on my right leg.

However, thanks to the football club, he was able to live out one of his dreams on the Hillsborough pitch.

He said: "I went in the Army and I always thought that one day, I'd come back to Hillsborough, get on the pitch and bang a goal in the Kop.

"When I was told about my leg, that was like, that's a dream dashed."

Parker's challenge became more difficult when he found out he would be taking on international goalkeeper Kieren Westwood in the challenge.

The goalkeeper made a number of great saves but was beaten on three occasions.

That meant Parker could take the match-ball home with him as a memento of his hat-trick.