Team GB star Ben Gregory fighting for his life after bike crash

The Welsh decathlete suffered injuries to his skull and neck, his fiancee Naomi Heffernan said

Ben Gregory celebrates winning the Men's Decathlon 1,500 metres at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. Getty
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

British decathlete Ben Gregory is in a coma and fighting for his life after being seriously injured in a bike crash, his fiancee has said.

Naomi Heffernan said the Team GB star suffered fractures to his skull and neck and multiple haemorrhages to his brain in the accident, and is on life support.

Gregory, 31, represented Britain and competed for Wales at three Commonwealth Games — in Delhi in 2010, Glasgow in 2014 and Australia’s Gold Coast in 2018.

He has since carved out a career in personal training and coaching.

Ms Heffernan, who is also a coach, said she has “never felt so scared, helpless and sick to the stomach” following the crash on Friday afternoon.

She delivered the news through a post on Instagram Stories, which included a photo of her boyfriend kissing her on the cheek.

“Ben needs your positive thoughts and prayers right now,” she wrote on Saturday. “Those that know Ben know how strong he is mentally and physically, he’s a fighter and he’ll get through this.

“Please pray for him and send all the positive energy and thoughts you can muster.”

On Sunday, Ms Heffernan took to social media to offer an update and thank fans for their well wishes.

She said she hoped to know more about her boyfriend’s condition on Monday “when they put a sedation hold on him”. She added that “his reaction to that will say which way this is going to go”.

“This is going to be a long road to recovery, but I know how much love and support he has from his friends and family and I have every faith he’s going to pull through,” she said. “He has so much to live for and that will get him through this.”

Retired heptathlete Kelly Sotherton, Team England’s team leader for athletics at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, was among the sports stars to offer their public support to Mr Gregory.

“He’s the energy that we all love on the team,” she said on Twitter. “Sending all my prayers to you to fight this one… you’ve got this Ben.”

In a statement, Wales Athletics hailed Mr Gregory as the country’s “greatest ever decathlete”.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Ben's friends and family at this time," it said.

"Ben's accomplishments as an athlete speak for themselves: Wales' greatest ever decathlete ― three Commonwealth Games, the Welsh record holder and representing Wales and Great Britain multiple times.

"The outpouring of support across social media is testament to his popularity as a person and as an athlete.

"Everyone who has had the privilege of training or competing alongside Ben will speak of his incredible love of life, his kindness, support, and loyalty.

"We will all continue to pray for a full recovery for Ben."

Updated: August 21, 2022, 4:40 PM
EDITOR'S PICKS
NEWSLETTERS
MORE FROM THE NATIONAL