Colin Murphy joined the Royal Navy in January 2005 as an aircraft engineer. After his initial training, Colin was based in Cornwall at the largest helicopter base in Europe, Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose, working on mark 1 Merlin helicopters. After a few years at RNAS Culdrose, Colin moved onto 28 Squadron, working with the RAF on mark 3 Merlin helicopters. With this squadron, he completed two operational tours in Iraq.
After the two tours, and following a promotion course, he moved on and rejoined 824 Squadron at RNAS Culdrose. With 824 Squadron, Colin was in one of the first ships deployed to Syria. His next posting was with a commando helicopter force, with whom he completed a tour of Afghanistan. Not long after his return to Britain, he was injured whilst playing rugby at the base. Following his injury, he underwent surgery for spinal fusion. During the surgery, there was an incident that resulted in Colin receiving a brain injury, along with many other complications. This hampered his recovery, and resulted in the medical discharge process being started. Colin is still employed by the Royal Navy, but expects to be medically discharged in 2017.
He started visiting Headley Court, a Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre, and during his second visit, he was told about Mission Motorsport by his psychiatrist, who encouraged him to get in touch. At the time, Colin was in quite a dark place mentally, and he admits that getting in contact with Mission Motorsport “dragged [him] out of it.” He engaged with the charity, and was involved with various aspects, from spannering at the Defender Challenge, to receiving vocational support. Colin has attended many Mission Motorsport events, the first main event being the 2015 Race of Remembrance at Anglesey Circuit. Since then, he has attended the Mission Motorsport Invitational at Goodwood Circuit, taken part in some car control activities, and was part of the team that took part in a 24-hour driving simulator race. All of these experiences provided Colin with the opportunity to be around like-minded people, get involved and get his hands dirty.
“It turned out to be a vital turning point in my recovery. It gave me the confidence back for me to get my hands dirty and get involved. I’ve been involved in many things at Mission Motorsport, but the Defender Challenge in particular has been one of the best experiences of my life, and I feel truly privileged to have taken part.”