HE'S already a triple Invictus Games competitor but Michael Mellon has his eye on number four – and a prestigious national award.

Michael Mellon, who won three medals at last year's competition in Sydney, Australia, is hopeful of gaining selection for the UK team that will travel to The Hague for the fifth edition of the Games – the international adaptive multi-sport event for wounded, injured or sick armed services personnel – next year.

But, before that, he could receive further honours after he was nominated for a Sporting Excellence Award in the Soldiering On Awards, which recognise the outstanding achievements of those who have served in, and who work together in support of, the Armed Forces.

Dad-of-three Michael, from Cardenden, was the only athlete from Scotland that was chosen for the UK's 2018 Invictus Games team and has been shortlisted for the accolade – which will be announced at glittering ceremony in London on April 5 – which recognises a person or team who have overcome challenges, and demonstrated outstanding achievements, in the field of sport.

Disability Sport Fife member Michael, who last month won the East Kilbride Sports Council award for athletes with a disability at the Dunfermline and West Fife Sports Council Awards, broke his leg while playing rugby for RAF Honington, where he served as a senior aircraftsman, in 2001.

The injury resulted in him developing compartment syndrome in his lower left leg and, despite 12 operations over several years, Michael remained in constant pain due to nerve damage.

After being medically discharged from the armed forces in 2005, Michael suffered from serious depression and, due to ongoing health issues, made the “hardest call” of his life to have his leg amputated in 2013.

However, the operation enabled him to recapture his love for sport and, after joining Pitreavie Amateur Athletics Club, made him eligible for the Invictus Games.

He's gone on to win five medals in the Invictus Games – a sitting volleyball bronze and wheelchair basketball bronze in 2017, and silver in sitting volleyball and wheelchair rugby, and a wheelchair basketball bronze, last year – and set up a group in Fife for the Sporting Memories charity.

They help older people, including those with dementia, reconnect through sport, and his new-found confidence – that he credits Invictus for – has led to him being considered for a job at Edinburgh Airport.

"It's lovely to be nominated for the Soldiering On Awards," he said.

"I met the other finalists at a reception in the House of Lords recently which was a fantastic honour. I have a great passion and love for the sports I compete in.

"However I couldn’t have achieved my success over the last year without my brilliant team mates and dedicated coaches. I compete in various team sports for local and national teams, and each player and coach has had a massive input to my improvement over the course of the year."

He continued: "Being selected for the Invictus Games has been huge for me, a life changing event.

"I wanted to be a part of the team to help my confidence and feel the power of teamwork again. I regained that in bucket loads. The adrenalin it gives you and the buzz is electric.

"The bigger thing for me is just being with the lads; that's what I miss from being in the military. It's nice getting the medals but it's not just going to the Invictus Games, it's going to the training camps leading up to it, or even the training before the trials.

"Just going to the camps and meeting up with the lads each weekend is great. It's like not being away fro the military and the banter's awesome!

"I'm definitely going for it again this year."

Michael added: "When I was discharged in 2005 I went from being super-fit to being much less active due to my injury. I struggled with depression, piled on the weight and went up to 21 stone. When I lost my leg it was a fresh start. I was determined to get the weight off and to get fit and healthy again.

"I loved being back in a military environment and being with the lads again - I feel like I’m accepted when I’m around them. And my eyes have been opened on how people in similar conditions have coped and progressed with their lives; how they cope with pain or feeling down. Being more active is a great feeling and takes my mind off the pain."