An amputee golfer has successfully swapped motorbikes for clubs after a tragic accident nearly cost him his life.
Scott Richardson, 42, of Bishopstone Road, Stone, was always an avid motorcycle racer until in his 10th race at the famous Isle of Man TT in 2000 he lost grip on the track and crashed into a barrier at 100mph.
He said: “I don’t really remember anything about it. I woke up four days later without my leg and thought ‘this is big, I’m lucky to be alive. This is part two of my life.’”
The father-of-two’s fortunate escape got even luckier two weeks later when he was ready to be flown to a hospital back home. Transferred to an isolation ward Mr Richardson was due to board a light aircraft ambulance flight until he was informed his seat had been assigned to another patient.
That patient and his wife never made it home as the pilot on board the air ambulance suffered a heart attack crashing into the River Mersey,
Mr Richardson added: “I’m lucky to be alive, I was so lucky not to be involved in the plane crash. Five guys from that race came home in coffins.
“I think I’ve used up most of my nine lives.”
After spending two years in a wheelchair Mr Richardson returned to the race, so he could ‘lay the ghost to the rest’ and finished 14th out of 75 competitors.
But now, much to the relief of his family, he has taken up golf to such a successful extent he is defeating able bodied competitors.
He also works testing out prosthetic equipment for Chesham based Pace Rehabilitation and has benefited from using a torsion adaptor which allows more generous rotation on his leg aiding his golf swing.
Pace supports a variety of people including injured soldiers who are at a low ebb in their life having lost a limb.
Having already won the Disabled British Open in Surrey last year and competed in South Africa’s Disabled Golf Open Mr Richardson’s focus is now on winning the men’s singles final at Luton’s Stockwood Park Golf Centre next month.
He added: “It’s a different mindset and I’m absolutely loving the challenge. I deliberately play in shorts if I can because it spooks out guys and because they think, ‘I will go easy on him’.”