A bus driver brutally assaulted with an iron bar and left paralysed has rebuilt his life and become a champion sportsman.

Chunilal Jobanputra has been nominated for a Croydon Champion award in the sporting category after becoming a world champion disabled bowls player.

Mr Jobanputra was working on his typical bus route more than 10 years ago when he was viciously attacked by a drunk passenger in West Croydon, who beat him with an iron bar.

The unprovoked assault left the father-of-three needing a wheelchair, struck dumb for a time, and unable to continue work.

Originally housebound, and becoming more and more depressed, it was the introduction of the sport of lawn bowls that turned his life around, as his ability to speak returned.

He said: “There is no point in dwelling on the past – it was one of those things, I am not the only one to ever be a victim. The important thing was to not let it ruin my life.”

Upon taking up the sport, Mr Jobanputra, of South Croydon, discovered he had a natural flair and was quickly winning local matches, progressing to become national champion, and then world champion, which he has won several times and hopes to retain next year.

Alongside his world beating international performances, Mr Jobanputra has also become involved in improving the lives of others locally.

He regularly attends Croydon police station to talk to juvenile offenders and victims of crime about his experiences, and has made contributions with the Croydon disability forum.