Senior Aircraftman Jon-Allan Butterworth was 16 when he joined the Royal Air Force as an armourer.
In 2007 he was posted to Iraq and stationed in Basra working for Joint Force Helicopter on countermeasures.
Two and a half months into his tour of duty he was wounded in a rocket attack and, following a major arterial bleed that left him close to death, he lost his left arm.
Whilst at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre at Headley Court in November 2007, he attended the Battle Back programme at Loughborough University.
His abilities and potential drew the attention of British Cycling scouts and he was given trials at the Welsh National Velodrome in Newport.
After leaving the RAF, he was offered a year’s contract by the GB Paralympic Development Squad in 2009 and began racing in 2010.
Jon-Allan was backed from the start by the Royal Air Forces Association, who have supported him since 2009, including more than £4,500 a year in sponsorship. Finding sponsorship as an unproven cyclist was proving almost impossible for Jon-Allan and it looked like he may not be able to realise his cycling potential until the RAF Association stepped in. Jon-Allan is now looking forward to the 2016 Paralympic Games in 2016.
Supporting a Paralympic hopeful Helping a Senior Aircraftman get back on track - as champion!