Jon-Allan Butterworth becomes Britain's first casualty from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to win Paralympic gold


Jon-Allan Butterworth has cycled his way to Paralympic gold - and is the first British serviceman injured in Iraq or Afghanistan to have done so.

Butterworth, 30, won the C1-5 mixed team sprint along with his team-mates Jody Cundy and Louis Rolfe - beating China in a world record time in the final.

Great Britain's Jody Cundy (back), Jon-Allan Butterworth (middle) and Louis Rolfe (front)
Sprinters Rolfe (front) Butterworth (middle) and Cundy (back) surge to gold (Adam Davy/PA)

The former serviceman was an RAF weapons technician until 2007 when he lost his left arm in a rocket attack in Basra, Iraq. He has since received help from military charity Help For Heroes, British Cycling, The British Paralympic Association and UK Sport who all aided him on his way to Paralympic victory.

The gold is not Butterworth's first success however, he won three silver medals at London 2012, but he has said previously it "would be really nice to finish off that collection" with gold in Rio.

David Cameron and Jon-Allan Butterworth
Butterworth met David Cameron in 2012 at a Help for Heroes recovery centre, and was also a contestant on Channel 4´s "The Jump" (Steve Parsons/PA Wire)

This month Butterworth told the Daily Mail losing his arm in Iraq was one of the best things that happened to him: "I wouldn't change anything about my injury because my life the last nine years has been absolutely mega, way better than when I was in the military."

Following his victory Butterworth told the BBC "I'd trade three silvers for one gold. I'm not being greedy - one gold is what I wanted. I get more satisfaction out of a team event because all three of us need a perfect ride. It was amazing."

Butterworth, Cundy and Rolfe celebrate win
Butterworth, Cundy and Rolfe with their medals - and the Rio mascot too of course (Adam Davy/PA)

Butterworth's team-mate Rolfe said: "The overriding emotion is just relief. I wanted to replicate what our Olympic counterparts did in the sprint and we did that."

The gold was not the only success for Britain today in Rio though, with another gold in cycling and three more in rowing. ParalympicsGB reached 20 golds by the end of the day's afternoon session.