A CUMBERNAULD soldier has moved royalty, celebrities and the British public as a whole after winning a national award.
Private Scott Meenagh (22) scooped the gong for Overcoming Adversity at The Sun’s Military Awards in London last week.
Royals in attendance included Prince William, the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.
The high-profile televised ceremony put the spotlight on the former pupil of Cumbernauld High School who was well-known throughout the area as a rugby player and coach before joining the army.
In January Scott was on tour of duty with 2nd Battalion, Parachute Regiment in Afghanistan when his squad were hit.
As Scott climbed into his sleeping bag after completing night patrol his world changed forever when a Taliban-planted mine exploded.
He went to help his colleagues and the private who had been injured and it was on a final sweep of the area that Scott himself stepped on an IED (improvised explosive device). Despite the partial loss of his legs, Scott remained conscious and composed enough to apply life-saving treatment to himself.
As colleagues rushed to his aid, a third IED hit the team, killing one of Scott’s friends.
The next time Scott opened his eyes, he was back at the military hospital at Selly Oaks in Birmingham.
What happened afterwards is a story of a young man turning his life around against seemingly impossible odds.
The first stage was when he was given new legs.
He has since learned to walk on them and has taken up ice hockey, archery, sailing and won medals at the Endurance Games in America for water skiing.
And Scott, of Cumbernauld Village, now intends to cycle 3000 miles across the US. He said: “I was so shocked to get an award, I genuinely didn’t think I would get anything.
“I’m pretty speechless to be honest with you.”
He added: “It was a really good night, an amazing experience.”
Although overcome, Scott gratefully accepted his award from Strictly Come Dancing judge Alesha Dixon plus newly- crowned champ Harry Judd – and was composed enough to give a speech which had many of the audience in tears.
He said: “There are a lot of young lads who are faced with the injuries that I have and a lot of guys that have worse injuries.
“They all just get up and crack on. It’s just what we do – what we are trained to do.’’