South East Wales

Welsh Guardsman Steve Young and team reach North Pole

Family and friends of a Welsh Guardsman wounded in Afghanistan have told of their pride as he completed a 190-mile charity trek to the North Pole.

Steve Young, from Tonypandy, Rhondda, and the rest on the team reached their destination early on Sunday.

Prince Harry joined them for part of the trek as they raised money for the Walking With The Wounded charity.

Sgt Young's fiancee Emma York said he sounded very emotional and happy when he phoned her from the North Pole.

The 28-year-old, who suffered a broken back in a roadside bombing, was joined by Capt Martin Hewitt, 30, Capt Guy Disney, 29, and Pte Jaco Van Gass, 24.

Two of the charity's founders, Edward Parker and Simon Dalglish, and polar guide Inge Solheim made up the rest of the team.

Upon arrival at the North Pole, they toasted the Queen with a bottle of champagne they had carried with them throughout the expedition.

Prime Minister David Cameron sent them a letter of congratulations in which he said he was "incredibly proud" of the team.

News that they had completed the challenge came as over 200 family, friends and supporters took part in a walk as a show of support in Tonypandy.

'Very emotional'

Ms York said: "He phoned me from the North Pole and he said, 'We've done it, I'm here'.

"He just sounded very emotional and really really happy and said he was looking forward to coming home.

"We are really proud of him. It's a major achievement [because] he's been through so much since he was injured 18 months ago."

His mother Irene added: "I've always been proud of him but at this moment I'm very proud.

"We were told he might never walk again when he broke his back and here he is now proving all the doctors wrong walking to the North Pole."

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