THE proud mum of Ellesmere Port wheelchair basketball player Billy Bridge said it was an "emotional" moment watching her son win a medal at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

Deb Bridge, who lives in Little Sutton, made sure she went to bed early on Saturday night so she – along with a small number of family members – could wake up bright and early to cheer on Great Britain in the 2am (BST) bronze medal clash with Spain on Sunday.

Team GB bounced back from their semi final heartache against the hosts Japan to secure a deserved medal in what was Billy's Paralympic Games debut.

A valued member of the squad, the 26-year-old featured in two victorious group games and according to his mum was – as always – "buzzing" about what he and his teammates had achieved.

It's been a remarkable journey for Billy, who was first taken to try out wheelchair basketball at the age of 12 and went on to be flagbearer at the 2012 games in London.

Less than 10 years later, the former Stanney High School student has fulfilled his dream of representing Team GB at the Paralympic Games – and won a medal in the process.

Chester and District Standard:

A delighted Deb told The Standard: "I was just so pleased for them all. They must have been disappointed with the semi final but they picked themselves up and at the end of the day they've gone out on a high.

"It's been a real team effort. There are no egos – they are a great group of lads. Billy has grown up with most of them through the junior ranks.

"When I spoke to Billy after the game I got the usual response – he was buzzing!

"He's incredibly proud, it's been a great journey. It's his first major tournament with Great Britain and he's coming home with a bronze.

"He's realised his dream. It's great for the UK, great for the region and great for the town. Billy is very proud of where he comes from."

Deb, who is a teaching assistant at the Ellesmere Port Church of England College secondary school, says her son's achievements have made an impression on the children.

"I've had the kids coming up to me because they've been following Billy and the team", she explained. "Watching him win a bronze medal gives them something to look towards, something to aspire to.

"What's stopping them from going on and achieving their dream? I really hope it inspires them."