AN ‘inspirational’ ice hockey star who overcame bone cancer in his childhood - which resulted in him becoming a leg amputee - has set his sights on achieving his dream of representing Great Britain on the world stage.

Ben O’Brien, from Wombwell, was diagnosed at just nine years old and had to undergo an amputation just two years later.

Now 21 and playing for the Sheffield Steelkings, Ben’s been selected for the Great Britain squad for next April’s World Para Ice Hockey Championships in Skien, Norway.

Six teams - Norway, Germany, Kazakhstan, France, Sweden and Great Britain - will compete.

However, called-up players have to self-fund their trips - and Ben’s set a £2,000 target via a Go Fund Me page.

He told the Chronicle: “I only started playing the sport about a year ago but I took to it straight away - representing Great Britain is such an honour and it’s something I’m proud of.

“Having my leg amputated so young obviously had a huge impact on my life but I’ve always been determined to not let it stop me, so I’ve played football and became a keen runner.

“Players have to fund their own trips so I’m asking for donations or a main sponsor to help me achieve my dream next spring.

“Any donation - however big or small - is massively appreciated.

“I hope my story and what I’ve been through will inspire others who have had or are going through childhood illnesses that it does not have to define your life.

“If you put your mind to it, anything is possible.”

It will be the tenth edition of championships and it will consist of round-robin games, played between April 15 and 20 at Skien Fritidspark.

Ben’s dad, Darren O’Brien, said he was proud of his son’s achievements and thanked well-wishers who have already sent in donations.

“It’s every parent’s worst nightmare when your child is taken ill, especially at a young age,” he added.

“I thought I’d lose him and even to this day there’s a worry as it’s something that never leaves your life.

“He was 11 when he had to have his leg amputated and that is such a key age - it completely changed his life.

“What he’s achieved has been brilliant and he’s just got on with it, though - that’s a reflection as to how positive he is.

“Ben’s never let it get to him and he’s excelled at football and running in the past but it’s ice hockey where he’s done so much in such a short space of time.

“Everyone’s extremely proud of him - he is a true inspiration - and we’re so thankful for any donations.”

* To donate, visit and search for Ben O’Brien.