SIXTEEN months after losing his foot in an explosion in Afghanistan, a 22-year-old marine is to run the Bolton 10K with his prosthetic leg.

Inspirational Daniel Bottomley, pictured, is taking on the run at Leverhulme Park on Sunday, competing alongside his parents Gwyneth and Jimmy, from Harwood, who are raising money for Help for Heroes.

The marine, a former Thornleigh Salesian College pupil, stood on an improvised explosive device while he was on a tour of duty in December, 2008.

Marine Bottomley, who serves with the 45 Commando in Arbroath, Scotland, said: “I used to do a lot of running

before this happened to keep fit, and there is nothing to stop me doing it now.

“It has taken time to get used to losing my foot but with this prosthetic leg there is not much I can’t do.

“I am doing this as a bit of fun and hope in the summer I can do something to really challenge myself.”

He was on his second tour in the Helmand Province and on a routine patrol when the blast occurred.

Speaking about the ordeal, he said: “There was a big cloud of dust and I was disorientated and did not realise what had happened at first, but then I looked down and I saw that my foot was missing.

“The lads were all round me getting first aid and I was put on a stretcher. I was screaming and cursing, I have never felt pain like it.”

He was taken to hospital where his ankle was amputated and within a matter of hours he was being flown back to the UK.

He spent three weeks in Selly Oak Hospital in Birmingham, which specialises in looking after injured military patients.

He added: “You know the risks when you join, and I was keen to get out to Afghanistan and put the exercises into practice.

“I would never tell anyone not to join up and I do not have any regrets.

“It was difficult to get used to losing my foot at first, with simple things like getting out of bed and going to walk to the toilet, but you learn to adapt.”

He went back to training in August 2009 and added: “It was good to get back to a bit of normality and see all the lads again.”

Mrs Bottomley said: “We are so proud of Daniel and what he has achieved. When the officers came round we thought it was to break the news that he had died, we did not think about injuries.

“We were so glad that he was OK. It was really hard going to Selly Oak and seeing all the injured people coming in and it is heartbreaking watching television and hearing about those who have died.