A DISABLED dad who has hailed darts as his 'saviour' is calling on the public to help fulfil his dream.

Mark Couchman, of Vulcan Road, Barrow took up the game of darts five years ago after losing the use of his legs.

The dad-of-five was diagnosed with functional neurological disorder following an accident at work ten years ago, which meant he was forced to rely on a wheelchair.

Despite being wheelchair-bound for the rest of his life, the 46-year-old refuses to let his diagnosis dampen his spirit.

"When it first happened, it was quite hard to accept," he said.

"But then I realised I could still do most things, it would just take me longer than the average person.

"When I first went into a wheelchair, I was trying to do everything I could which ended up causing even more problems and I was in and out of hospital. But now being in a wheelchair is like second nature to me."

After losing the use of his legs, Mr Couchman found solace in darts, becoming a member of the British Disability Darts Association.

He said: "I didn't have much interest in darts before I was in a wheelchair then after I lost the use of my legs, I gained real interest in it.

"It gives me a focus and a purpose especially when I first went into a wheelchair.

"I can't just do nothing and let other people help me - it gave me that independence and freedom.

"All the counting and maths helps keep my brain active too.

"It's a bit of a saviour for me."

Over the past six years, Mr Couchman has competed in the world masters, European Open and played for the Northern Ireland Disability Darts Association.

Now Mr Couchman is attempting to raise £4,000 so himself and his 16 disabled darts teammates can attend the World Trophy in Ostend, Belgium.

"We all have varying disabilities, around 40 per cent of us are in wheelchairs and some of us have missing limbs," he said.

"Logistically we would need around £4,000 to get everyone to the event which is a lot of money but it would mean the world to us if we were able to go.

"It would be a dream fulfilled for me representing the Celtic Nations team. It would be absolutely amazing if people could give what they can."

If you would like to make a donation, visit: ww.gofundme.com/f/help-raise-funds-for-the-home-nations.