The astonishing story of how a soldier stood on a bomb to save his comrades and recovered enough to go on to play professional football has emerged after his medals were sold.

Lance Corporal James Collins was advised to have his lower right leg amputated after being seriously injured in the blast in the trenches on the Western Front. But the talented footballer refused to allow medics to remove the limb and instead underwent 14 operations over the next two years to save his foot.

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