JACK Hunter-Spivey will be bringing a Paralympic medal back to Widnes.

The 26-year-old is guaranteed at least a bronze medal in the men's class 5 table tennis in Tokyo having come through his quarter-final match.

He took on his friend and regular team partner Tommy Urhaug – the London 2012 Paralympic champion and world number three from Norway – and came through a tense encounter.

Hunter-Spivey battled back superbly after losing the first game and facing game points in the second to take it 13-11 and then led 2-1 after taking the third 11-9.

But Urhaug is a former world number one and world champion and took the fourth 12-10 to take the match into a decider.

Hunter-Spivey has had some heart-breaking losses in major championship quarter-finals and when Urhaug saved two match points to level at 10-10, he held his nerve superbly to take the game 12-10 and the match 3-2.

“It doesn’t feel real,” he said.

“Going into this match I felt nervous. Tommy is the guy I’d idolised when I was a kid, the guy I watched YouTube videos of and the guy I wanted to be and he’s one of my best friends.

"But I just knew I’ve worked so hard for this – I’ve been through a hell of a lot on and off the table and it’s paid off.

"I only wanted to be the kid who wasn’t watching the TV but was on the TV and now I’m a Paralympic medallist. It doesn’t feel real.

“I was down in every set but I just kept on fighting and kept on believing in myself.

"I’ve been through such a journey and it is quite a good metaphor for life I suppose – being down and coming back and prevailing and I just want to say if anyone is out there and struggling it does get better I promise - I’ve just won a Paralympic medal.

“Going 2-1 up and losing deuce in the fourth was tough but Rushy (coach Andrew Rushton) did an incredible job in the corner.

"He got me focused and we managed to go again and it wasn’t a chance missed it was another chance to take a medal so we managed to do it now and I’m so proud of myself.”

Despite securing a medal, however, Hunter-Spivey is not content with stopping there.

“Absolutely not,” he said. “I’m going all the way.

"I really think I can take this gold. It sounds so strange coming out of my mouth but I don’t think anyone realises how much hard work I’ve done in lockdown.

"Having a table in my living room - training on it, going underneath it to do my press-ups, eating my dinner off it.

"Table tennis has been my whole life for 16 years and my whole family’s life as well and this medal isn’t just for me – it is for everyone back home and everyone who has supported me.”