A RHYL Paralympian has been named Disabled Entrepreneur of the Year.

Despite only founding Denbigh-based LIMB-art earlier this year, swimmer Mark Williams’ custom prosthetic covers have earned him the seal of of approval from EasyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou - as well as a £10,000 prize from his Philanthropic Foundation.

The Seoul 1988 Paralympic Games bronze and silver medalist will receive the award – along with four other business owners – on Sunday, November 14 at Mr Haji-Ioannou’s London HQ.

Mr Williams, 47, said: “We’re over the moon to be awarded this and it’s definitely given us the momentum to spread the word about LIMB-art far and wide.”

He lost his leg in 1982 after being hit by a car on Pen-y-Maes Avenue, Rhyl, while riding his bike home in the dark from Ysgol Dewi Sant - days after receiving the school’s highest marks in his cycling proficiency test.

His accident, on June 21 1982, coincided with the birth of Prince William.

“When I was in the hospital, the doctor came up to me and said “The bad news is, we can’t fix your leg,” he said.

“The good news is, Prince Di has had a boy!”

While undergoing physio at a swimming pool after the operation, Mr Williams met Mick Jones, the then head coach of Rhyl Swimming Club, who encouraged him on a path that would also see him earn two golds and a silver at the 1989 Miami World Championships.

He said: “The next eight years were a whirlwind, I was transformed from a shy 10 year old boy who couldn’t swim into a super-confident athlete winning medals in the pool.

“After starting at Ysgol Glan Clwyd after that first summer, on the first day back I was told not to worry – I could be just as good everyone else. Well I had no time for that, from then on I wanted to beat the world – and that’s what I’m hoping LIMB-art can do for others.”

The design and manufacturing company offers covers to help personalise above and below knee prostheses.

Mr Williams added: “Prostheses have, over recent years, come on in leaps and bounds functionally. However, aesthetics seem to be generally overlooked.


The idea for the company was born after Williams’ handy work on his own prosthetic leg was labelled as “cool” by a passing child while on shopping in Denbigh Morrisons.

Mr Williams said: “At this point I decided it was time to “give something back.” I pulled together a team of experts to make the ultimate covers on a bigger scale, with a choice for everyone to help them Stand Out and Stand Proud.”

“I wish something like this existed when I was younger, and while I see losing my leg as the best thing that happened to me, having something to break the ice makes all the difference in the world.”

A‘Champion of Champions’ will be selected from among the five winners by Mr Haji-Ioannou, winning a further £20,000.