A FORMER army captain severely injured when his patrol was hit by roadside bombs in Iraq has completed a gruelling global challenge.

Ibrar Ali, known as Ibi, successfully tackled seven marathons on seven continents in as many days.

And this week the 40-year-old, who lost his right arm and suffered other horrific injuries in the Basrah attack ten years ago, paid tribute to the Keighley gym which helped him prepare for the energy-sapping challenge.

He joined NRGym, in Greengate Road, about a year ago.

"I was looking for a strength gym and a couple of friends – both also ex-soldiers – recommended this one," said father-of-one Ibi.

"I went along to have a look and it seemed ideal.

"It has all the equipment and facilities I was after.

"I was wanting to focus on the legs and lower back in particular and working with personal trainers there has kept me improving.

"The guys at NRGym are incredibly friendly and flexible and thanks to the help I've been given, I'm fitter now than I've been for years."

Ibi took part in the World Marathon Challenge to raise money for – and awareness of – a new military rehabilitation centre, for which he is ambassador, currently being built in the Midlands.

He and a colleague between them coined-in about £650,000 for the project, the Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre.

They were among about 30 people who tackled the challenge, which began in Antarctica before heading to South and North America, Madrid, Morocco, Dubai and finally Sydney.

"It was tough but there was lots of motivation amongst the group and it was incredibly well organised," said Ibi.

Although the challenge is now under his belt, he is continuing to attend the gym regularly.

"Some weeks I'm there every weekday – it depends on my training programme," he said.

"I also do some running and swimming. I like to mix up the training."

NRGym co-owner, Nick Hindle, pays tribute.

"With being from a military background myself I can understand what Ibi wants to achieve and we are fully supportive and encouraging of people striving to reach goals," he said.

"He's a real inspiration to people. We have a good community here and what he has accomplished has brought a massive response from other members."

Ibi was commissioned into the Prince of Wales' Own Regiment of Yorkshire, later amalgamated into the Yorkshire Regiment, in 2004.

He was on his first operational tour in Iraq when his patrol came under attack.

One soldier died and he and two colleagues were badly injured.

Ibi – who was subsequently awarded the Military Cross for his actions during the incident – spent six months in hospital in the UK and then a further six months in rehabilitation, but in 2008 he returned to Iraq for another operational tour and later also served in Afghanistan, before leaving service in 2013.

He is now head of operations with a fitness company.