WHEN Wylye’s Spencer Bull was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2005, the retired Army Lieutenant Colonel thought he would never represent the flag again.

But 13 years after his diagnosis, he will remarkably compete at the 2018 Invictus Games in Sydney from October 20-27 as a vice-captain of the Team UK squad.

Tired of watching his children competing in sport from the sidelines and not being able to join in, the 59-year-old put his name forward to compete at the fourth Invictus Games in both swimming and sailing.

Now just a few weeks remain until he gets his opportunity, with the action getting under way in Australia on Saturday, October 20.

“Through various charities like Help for Heroes and Royal British Legion, I rediscovered my love for sport,” said Mr Bull, who lives near Warminster.

“My aim on the Invictus journey is to find sports that I can do with my family and my children, so I participate in swimming and sailing.

“I want to be kept busy, I find that being busy is good and it allows me to make a plan and go forward.

“The activities that have been laid on the Invictus journey have been superb. There’s a great spirit amongst the team and it’s really exciting and I am looking forward to going to Sydney and beyond.”

After leaving the army last year, the ex-serviceman missed the daily humdrum of army life, but Invictus has allowed him to reconnect with like-minded veterans.

But the team vice-captain admitted that nothing will top the feeling of being able to compete in front of his family and three children in one of the world’s premier sporting locations.

“I find being with other veterans and ex-service personnel is fantastic,” he added.

“You can speak to them and before you know it you are having that same old banter and the camaraderie, which is fantastic.

“In all of it you rediscover your old self-belief, self-esteem and feel you can achieve something.

“I want to be that role model for my family that I maybe wasn’t a few years ago.

“I was in the army and I served the flag and for the crown, and now I have the opportunity to do it in a slightly different way in that I am now representing the flag.

“If I can perform in front of my family who will be there and I can achieve the best that I can achieve, that to me is fantastic.”

“Sydney is not the end for me, it’s what lies beyond. It’s a stepping stone into further sporting activities, engaging with my family and being part of a life in sport.

“To have the chance of being able to sail at Sydney Harbour is a once in a lifetime opportunity and something that I will never forget.”

Mr Bull was speaking at the Jaguar Land Rover Driving Challenge, where Invictus Games competitors had the opportunity to be selected to represent their nation.

Jaguar Land Rover is the presenting partner of the Invictus Games.

It is using this year’s games to lead and inform the debate on future mobility and how its future technology could help people’s lives.