‘Pompey pirate’ Craig Bryden inspires people around the world

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Ex-sailor Craig Bryden wore a pirate outfit to show he would not be bowed by cancer - and became an internet sensation.

The Falklands War veteran from Portsmouth, who has been told he has incurable lung cancer, decided to wear the swashbuckling outfit to his first chemotherapy session at the Queen Alexandra Hospital.

The former navy steward caught a bus to QA and set next to Courtney Jones, who was so inspired by his determination to stay positive - exemplified by his decision to dress in a way which he hoped would give others a lift - that she posted a ‘selfie’ on Facebook which has been shared thousands of times around the world.

Craig, who lives in Copnor, survived the sinking of HMS Sheffield in the Falklands War and spent 20 years in the navy.

He said: ‘I’ve got this inside me and it is going to kill me but between now and then I’m going to embrace life to the full.

‘If I can put a smile on one person’s face every day while I’m slowly ebbing away it will lift me up and keep me going.’

Courtney said: ‘He got on the bus and everyone stared; he immediately made me smile.

‘We got chatting and he went on to tell me how today was his first lot of chemotherapy... but didn’t want to go looking like everyone else and just wanted to make people smile.

“I have never felt so privileged and honoured to meet such a humble brave man! You’re an inspiration Craig!’