These heartwarming scenes show the moment an eight-year-old boy with cerebral palsy crossed the finishing line after completing a gruelling triathlon.
Inspirational Bailey Matthews was roared over the finishing line as he cast aside his specially-adapted walking frame to finish the last 20 metres of the race unaided.
Despite stumbling twice on his way to the line, Bailey picks himself to complete the amazing feat.
Hundreds of people gathered around the finish line to watch the youngster complete the 100 metre swim, 4km bike ride and 1.3km run at the Castle Howard Triathlon in North Yorkshire.
His parents said they were “overwhelmed” by the support from the crowd, who had stayed behind to watch Bailey finish one of the country’s most difficult triathlon courses.
His mum Julie Hardcastle said: “You can see his little face when he came round and saw everyone, that was his way of finishing in style and showing everyone what he could do. It was the response from the crowd that pushed him to do that.”
Bailey, who lives in Worksop, Notts., with his mum and brother Finlay, nine, was born nine weeks early but was not diagnosed with cerebral palsy until he was 18 months old.
He became interested in taking on a triathlon when his dad, Jonathan Matthews, 47, started pushing him around a five kilometre course at a weekly Park Run event.
Jonathan then adapted a walking frame to allow Bailey to get round the course himself.
The youngster then told his dad he wanted to take on a triathlon and began training on a bike fitted with special stabilisers and started swimming in a local lake.
Jonathan said: “The majority of what he does is self-propelled. He sets his own goals when he is swimming and says “I am going to do x amount of metres today’.
He is more than eager to get out and do something. If we can make that easier for him then that is what we will do.”
“The response has been quite overwhelming. One lady asked us if he did it as a sponsorship thing, but he just did it because it was something he wanted to do.”
“The Castle Howard Triathlon is a very difficult, rough course, there is no way in the world he could do it unaided, because of how undulating and uneven the ground was. It would have been very difficult even for able-bodied children.
“Because of the size and weight of his walking frame, it is sometimes easier for him to walk unaided than to drag it along. The response of the spectators was overwhelming, he came last but everyone was waiting for him, which they didn’t have to do.”
Julie said: “Bailey has always been very determined. If he wants to do something he will find a way to do it, even if it is not the conventional way.
“He has always struggled with getting dressed, things that parents of other children take for granted, he does struggle with, just every day things are more difficult for him, but he never lets it bother him. He doesn’t see himself as different to anyone else.
“We have always tried to make sure that if there is something he wants to do, there is no such word as ‘can’t’. He had made his mind up, we knew he would do it but I didn’t expect the reaction from everyone else.
“The difficult thing is that for us it is normal. We know how amazing he is but the response we have had from other people has been amazing. He inspires us all the time.”