ONE of Britain’s greatest ever Paralympians is seeking financial support to ensure he is able to compete at next year’s Paralympic Games in Rio.

Cramlington club thrower Stephen Miller is hoping to make his seventh Paralympic appearance next summer, having made his Games debut in Atlanta in 1996.

He won a gold medal at those Games, and has added a further two golds, one silver and two bronzes on the Paralympic stage as well as claiming three World titles and three European Championship gold medals.

He has represented Great Britain is every major parasport championships since 1995, but needs financial assistance to ensure he is able to make it to Tokyo in peak condition.

As a member of British Athletics’ World Class Performance Programme, 39-year-old Miller receives financial support to help cover core training and living costs.

However, as a world-class disabled athlete, he incurs additional expenses that are proving increasingly difficult to meet.

As he attempts to remain competitive for the next 12 months, he needs a new electric wheelchair and a new vehicle to enable him to travel to training and competitions.

His existing wheelchair and vehicle have served him well, but are nearing the end of their life and require replacement after years of wear and tear. He cannot compete without them, but their specialist nature means they are expensive to buy and maintain.

Finding financial sponsors has become increasingly difficult, and while a number of loyal sponsors continue to provide assistance, the sums no longer add up.

As a result, the North-Easterner has teamed up with Pledge Sport, a crowdfunding site, to appeal to sponsors and supporters to help him on his journey to Tokyo 2020.

“Anyone that knows me, will know I’ve never been one to ask for help,” said Miller, who battled his way back from replacement hip surgery to win a bronze medal at the Rio Paralympics in 2016. “I’m incredibly stubborn and fiercely independent.

“However, as I begin my journey towards what could be my last club throw at the Paralympics in Tokyo 2020, I’m appealing for a bit of extra support to help with certain costs for things that make a massive impact on my training and my life.

“Any support I receive will be hugely appreciated, and I promise I will give it my best shot to be in the team for Tokyo, and to win a medal.”

Miller is primarily looking for North-East businesses and organisations to help him in the next 12 months, but is happy to welcome anyone on to Team Miller.

He will continue to combine his training with coaching and mentoring duties, and supports a range of North-East charities in patron and ambassadorial roles.

“I became a full-time athlete for the first time in my career in 2016, this was instrumental in my medal winning performances at the Rio Paralympics and the 2017 London World Championships,” he added. “This was largely possible thanks to the financial sponsorship that I had up to Rio.

“The sponsorship has stopped since Rio, so I am seeking fresh sponsorship support to help me stay a full-time athlete and achieve my dream of winning a medal at my seventh Paralympics in Tokyo 2020.”

Stephen Miller’s campaign website can be found at