A FORMER Cardigan soldier who was severely injured while serving in Afghanistan has been presented with a Pride of Wales Award.

The awards ceremony, sponsored by Nation Radio, was held at Cardiff's Vale Resort recently where 29-year-old Stephen Owen was named 'Dad of the Year'.

The awards recognise and reward the unsung heroes in Wales who do amazing things for other people, family or the community without a second thought.

Stephen and wife Kirsty, who now live at Penrhiwllan, attended a gala dinner with sons Dafydd, 10, and Ryan, seven - four year-old disabled son George stayed at home – where Stephen picked up his accolade.

Stephen wore a special Pride of Wales tartan kilt to the event and remains positive and inspires his young family every day, encouraging them to never give up on their dreams and keep active through sports.

But he almost never made it to the big night as he did not even know he had been nominated.

“His mother Lynn nominated him and we got a phone call to tell us Stephen had got through to the second round but we were not going to answer it as we thought it was someone trying to sell us PPI!”said Kirsty.

“And then to be told Stephen had won it was just fantastic and a huge surprise. We are so proud.”

Stephen, a former pupil at Ysgol Uwchradd Aberteifi, was serving with the 1st Battalion Royal Welsh Guards back in 2010 when he was badly injured after the vehicle he was in was blown up by a roadside bomb.

He was eventually medically discharged from the army and after numerous operations, he had his leg amputated in 2016 and has a prosthetic limb.

Stephen now runs a woodworking business from his Penrhiwllan home, where he has set up a workshop.