A police officer hailed a hero after fighting off three extremists during last year’s London Bridge terrorist attack hopes to return to work next month.
PC Wayne Marques, 38, was left temporarily blinded in one eye after taking on the terrorists armed only with his baton on June 3.
Eight people were killed and many more injured after the terrorists drove a van into people on London Bridge before stabbing revellers in Borough Market.
Speaking a year on, PC Marques, who works for the British Transport Police, said he had made “significant progress since that night” and planned to return to work in July.
“I’m doing well,” he said. “I’m much more independent, much more able, I’m standing, I’m walking, I’m able to socialise again, see family and friends.
“In terms of work, at the moment, the intention is for me to come back to work in July.
“I do know the longer you are out, the harder it can be to get back in and it’s a job that I enjoy; it’s who I am, to be honest.
“Now saying that and then convincing Ma and Pops and partner that it’s the right thing to do is a completely different ballgame.”
PC Marques, from South Norwood, had been on duty when he heard about the attack on June 3.
Putting his own safety aside, he ran towards the three attackers – Khuram Butt, Rachid Redouane, and Youssef Zaghba – with his baton and was stabbed several times.
He said he was trying “not to plan too far ahead because you get setbacks” but that he was still working hard.
“I’m doing well with my training and my rehab at the moment,” he said. “I’m currently in a ‘run-walk’ programme which is what I’m working through to continue to build myself up and the left side of my body up, to increase my running ability, because obviously I lost a lot of that since last year.
“And I’m just basically trying to get as much of me back as possible.”
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The police officer, who received an outpouring of support and messages from the public in the days and weeks after the attack, thanked the public for their continued support.
“The messages, there are too many to remember, but I made a point of reading as many as possible,” he said.
“I remember my colleagues printing loads off, being inundated with emails, being told the servers were completely overloaded.
“The public have been inspiring, you can’t deny the response of the public to me and the job, to police officers since that tragedy last year.
“It’s been inspiring, it was overwhelming, it was encouraging.
“You go through these stages where you’re stuck in a bed and you’ve got this time to keep thinking about things…and then you get these messages from people who have just heard about you.
“You’ve never met them and you never will in most cases – but they were just genuine, heartfelt, caring messages.
“It wasn’t just writing for the sake of writing, people felt the need to send me something or write me something.
“I can only say thank you very much; it was both needed and appreciated.”
Shortly before 10pm on June 3, 2017, Khuram Butt, 27, Rachid Redouane, 30, and Youssef Zaghba, 22, deliberately drove a white hire van into people on London Bridge before jumping out in fake suicide vests and stabbing innocent revellers in and around Borough Market.
Canadian Christine Archibald, 30, and Australians Kirsty Boden, 28, and Sara Zelenak, 21, were killed in the attack.
The attackers were shot dead by police within eight minutes of the first emergency call.