Mark Ormrod is one of the most extraordinary men you will ever meet.
The former Royal Marines Commando served for ten years in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces but lost three limbs after stepping on an improvised explosive device (IED) during a tour of Afghanistan on Christmas Eve in 2007.
After initially being told he would never be able to walk again, he won two silver and two bronze medals at the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto, and then came back a year later to add four gold and three other medals to his impressive haul.
Ormrod, 38, was named as the Pride of Britain’s Fundraiser of the Year for raising more than £500,000 for the charity REORG in 2021.
He was also recognised for his services to the Royal Marines and Veterans after being awarded an MBE in 2020.
However, by his own admission, he doesn’t much care for the spotlight.
So when a young portrait artist by the name of George Groves contacted him on social media asking if he could paint a picture of him he wasn’t quite sure what to expect.
But when he saw the painting for the first time in all its glory, he could hardly believe his eyes.
He said: “I’ll be honest with you, I was a bit like, ‘What the f—?’
“I mean, I’m a working class bloke from Plymouth, right, I’ve never really been exposed to the art world before, so it was all very new to me.
“Most of the time whenever I look at a painting it never does it justice compared to what it looks like in real life but it’s amazing.
“Honestly, it’s phenomenal, even in the photographs. I can’t understand how George does it, I really can’t, it doesn’t make sense.”
Neither could his wife, apparently.
The father of three cheerfully added: “I think she’d rather have the painting to be honest with you!
“She hasn’t seen it in the flesh yet but she’s very impressed with the pictures I’ve shown her.”
Despite still being very green in his career, Groves has built up a rather impressive portfolio, counting Idris Elba and Sadio Mane among some of his previous clients.
But he will be the first to admit he still found the task rather daunting at first before he got to grips with it.
He admitted: “It’s probably the biggest challenge I’ve had so far.
“I almost felt an obligation to do Mark’s story justice. That was what was most important to me. It was the driving factor if you want to call it that.
“You know, I’ve never painted a Royal Marine, or someone who’s been through such things as Mark.
“So to tell his story in the right way, that was of the utmost importance.”
The painting is now available to purchase, with 35 per cent of the proceeds going to REORG. To find out more, please contact them via social media.
Ormrod’s Instagram account: @markormrod
Groves’ Instagram account: @officialgrovesart
For more information about REORG go to reorgcharity.com