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Another award for Matt

CELEBRITIES, politicians and sports stars paid tribute to the nation's unsung heroes in a star-studded event.

CELEBRITIES, politicians and sports stars paid tribute to the nation's unsung heroes in a star-studded event.

Among those receiving awards was Solihull's own hero Lance Corporal Matthew Croucher, aged 24, who saved the lives of his comrades in Afghanistan by diving onto a live grenade -pinning it between his rucksack and the ground to absorb the explosion.

Sir Michael Caine, a former serviceman himself, presented the award to L Cpl Croucher and while doing so jested: "We both served in the army, but that is where our similarities finish."

Prime Minister Gordon Brown and more than 100 celebrities attended the Daily Mirror's Pride of Britain Awards held at London Television Centre on Wednesday.

The former Lyndon pupil said after his brave act: "It was a case of either having four of us as fatalities or badly wounded or one. I thought I've set this thing off and I'm going to do whatever it takes to protect the others."

"I knew a grenade like this has a killing circumference of about five metres. Within those precious few seconds, I went through the scenario in my mind and realised there was nowhere to take cover. It took thirty seconds before I realised I was definitely not dead."

He has since received numerous honours, including a surprise treat from Birmingham City Football Club - his favourite football team.

But the highest accolade for L Cpl will be when he receives the George Cross which he was nominated for in July.

Major General Garry Robison, Commandant General Royal Marines, said: "I am extremely proud of L Cpl Matthew Croucher's actions and outstanding bravery.

"What he did was instinctive and I'd like to think that this bears out the very highest standards and ethos that Matthew aspires to as a Royal Marine."

 

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