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From the army to Bristol Rovers: Tom Broadbent’s extraordinary journey

The defender describes being shot at in Afghanistan, having his biceps squeezed by Chelsea’s Ruben Loftus-Cheek at the FA Cup final and reveals why he is leaving the army to pursue his dream

Tom Broadbent leans across the table at a coffee shop in Bristol, stretching out the huge, muscular frame that turned the heads of a few Chelsea players a couple of months ago, and casually tells the story about the time he was shot at in Afghanistan while listening to the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

It is quite a tale, even if Broadbent’s unassuming, laid-back demeanour suggests otherwise, and forms part of a fascinating and colourful story that includes handing over FA Cup medals in the royal box, working behind the hot food counter in Sainsbury’s and filing an entry for “Speedo fan of the year” via a photograph on social media. “Bloody hell, you have been digging around,” Broadbent says, breaking into laughter.

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