‘I want to be a role model to my son’

Johnny Ackroyd, 28, is an amputee and will be cycling from London to Amsterdam for Limb Power charity.
Johnny Ackroyd, 28, is an amputee and will be cycling from London to Amsterdam for Limb Power charity.

A father and former Elland Rugby League player who lost his leg in a motorbike accident is getting back in the saddle and cycling from London to Amsterdam for charity.

In 2009, Jonny Ackroyd was knocked off his motorbike in a tragic accident at Salterhebble.

After seven unsuccessful operations, he made the decision to have his leg, which was missing over five inches of bone and causing excruciating pain, amputated and replaced with a prosthetic leg.

Since then, it has been a long and tough journey for Jonny, 28, who was wheelchair bound for some time, but the determined school caretaker said he was not prepared to give up.

“I want to prove people wrong,” said Jonny.

Wife Jo said Jonny has an incredibly inspirational attitude. In 2011, he climbed Mount Snowdon with a group of amputees.

Jonny and Jo, of School Green, Rastrick, wed in 2011 on what they say was a very emotional day.

When Jo gave birth to son Eddison, now aged two, Jonny says he was inspired to get back to fitness.

“I didn’t grow up with a fat dad and I didn’t want that for my son, I wanted to be an example role model, so I thought I’d better do something about it.”

Since then, Jonny has lost over three stone and has been training up to four times a week to prepare for a 210-mile cycle ride, from September 26-29, in aid of Limb Power - a charity that aids rehabilitation through sport.

“There’s little support for civilian amputees in this country - the government doesn’t class me as disabled so I’m not even entitled to a blue badge just because I’m determined to carry on. The charity is a great support for amputees, who have an instant connection,” he said.

“Always think positive and never think ‘can’t’. Life is short, you have to make the best of the cards you’re dealt” is the advice Jonny would offer to other amputees.

To sponsor see www.justgiving.com/jonathan-ackroyd1.