HE LOST his arm in an horrific train accident – and now Paul McDonald is determined to stop other youngsters suffering the same fate.
The 28-year-old is the founder of a music company which runs competitions aimed at keeping young people off the train tracks.
Now he is starting a battle of the bands competition in the Portsmouth area.
Paul’s arm was sheared off by a train at Angmering station when he was 12 years old.
He had spent years playing on platforms and hanging off train doors as they left the station.
Paul, of Wych Lane in Gosport, said: ‘I was walking alongside this train as it was pulling out of the station and I jumped for the handle in between two carriages.
‘But I fell between them and underneath the train and lost my arm. I picked myself up and stumbled to the platform.
‘A policeman told me he had never seen anything like it.
‘I was warned a lot as a kid but it didn’t really sink in until I woke up in hospital and saw myself with my arm off.
‘Now I just want to do something to stop other people doing it.
‘It was doing my head in, hearing about kids who were dying on railway stations.
‘So I got up and did something about it.’
Paul has been campaigning with Network Rail for years as part of their Change Tracks project.
He runs his own music promotion company and is using his knowledge of the industry to set up competitions.
The 28-year-old hopes it will encourage youngsters to keep off the streets and away from railway tracks.
Paul is looking for local bands to take part in a competition in either the Portsmouth or Gosport area.
He added: ‘For quite a few years I had depression and left school without any of my exams.
‘Eventually I set up my own business through the Prince’s Trust and then I set up a battle of the bands.
‘I know there are railway incidents in Portsmouth and these areas so I wanted to do something here as well.
‘It’s not just about railways, it can be getting kids away from getting up to no good.
‘It’s about giving them something more worthwhile to do with their time.’
If you would like to put your band forward for consideration in the competition, visit cravintunez.com.