EIGHT contestants who have received care at the Oxford Transplant Centre returned home as World Transplant Games medallists.

The athletes' team brought back six Gold, two Silver and four Bronze medals, contributing to an impressive overall count of 484 for Transplant Team GB&NI as they topped the medal table.

Special praise went to Flora King for achieving three gold medals for throwball, tennis and squash.

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The World Transplant Games had more than 1,400 competitors representing over 60 countries in total, with 320 representatives for Team GB&NI

Daley Cross, youth worker at the Oxford Young Adult Clinic, based at the Churchill Hospital, was manager of the two GB&NI football teams that scored Gold and Bronze.

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Oxford Transplant Centre was also well represented with one player in each team.

Mr Cross said: “What a fantastic week we had in Newcastle Gateshead. It was amazing to see so many transplant recipients coming together to participate in the World Transplant Games and represent their country.

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“To secure both Bronze and Gold medals at the first time of asking was very special and to do it on home soil was even better.

“Every player gave their all paying a fine tribute to their donor.

“We are all immensely proud of what they have achieved and their commitment to demonstrating the life-changing benefits of organ transplantation and the remarkable generosity of all organ donors.”

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Carlton Richardson, a Bronze medallist in the men’s football team whose kidney was donated to him by his father two years ago, said: “This was my first experience of the World Games and I loved every minute of it. I am over the moon for being able to play the sport I love and even come back with a Bronze medal.”

Oxford Mail:

Mr Richardson also paid tribute to the care he received at OUH, adding: "The care I received at the Churchill was top class.

"I also want to thank Oxford YAC for supporting me throughout my journey from the diagnosis, the dialysis, and then the transplant and the recovery.

"They helped me get back into sport and compete in the British games which ultimately allowed me to get selected for the World Games. They gave me confidence that I would play football again.”

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Dr Paul Harden, Consultant Transplant Physician at the OUH and Chairman of Transplant Sport - the charity behind the British Transplant Games and responsible for bringing the World Games to the UK for 2019 - said: “We’re delighted that football has been added to the World Transplant Games following five years of successful inclusion in the British Games.

"It’s important to demonstrate that football is not only safe for transplant recipients but an invaluable means of restoring self-esteem and building camaraderie and peer support.

Oxford Mail:

“We’re immensely proud to have been a part in bringing the World Transplant Games to the UK this year.

"The games play such a key role in raising the profile of organ donation as an issue in the UK.

"It’s been a great celebration of medical success stories as well as generosity and gratitude of donors and recipients.”

Oxford Young Adult Clinic is a specialist support service for young adult renal patients between the ages of 16-30 diagnosed with renal failure.

The clinic provides peer support and actively encourages young adults to get into sport and attend the World Transplant Games.