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Wednesday 23rd October 2019

Strictly Come Dancing star Will Bayley shares 'inspirational' throwback photo

Fans hail "hero" Paralympian for his many achievements

It's round four of Strictly tonight - and one person who couldn't wait to hit the dancefloor again is Will Bayley.

The Paralympic table tennis player, 31, will be dancing the foxtrot with his professional partner Janette Manrara.

And to mark the occasion, the Kent-born star has taken to Twitter to share an emotional throwback picture with his followers.

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Gold medallist Will was born with arthrogryposis, a rare condition that's characterised by abnormally developed muscles.

He was also diagnosed with cancer at the age of seven.

Gorgeous boy. I bet you worked your socks off this week with this, and you will be amazing.

Nonetheless, he's gone on to become a Paralympic star and world champion – not to mention a contestant on Strictly!

And Will drew plenty of positive remarks as he posted a picture of himself as a child on his Twitter feed yesterday.

He told his 15,000 followers: "This guy is going to be dancing the Foxtrot tomorrow, true story! #nothingisimpossible."

And his fans loved the gesture, with many responding with words of encouragement.

Will is partnered with Janette Manrara on the show (Credit: BBC)

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One gushed: "This little guy has turned into a national hero who is inspiring so many people. U never give up! U dance from your heart! U give everything 1000% U are our hero! Enjoy & smash it! We are all behind you, all the way!"

Another said: "Oh, how adorable! Will, I really hope you are incredibly proud of yourself, because you absolutely should be! Everything you have achieved is amazing and you are such a huge inspiration to others. Relax, enjoy tomorrow, you have it in you as you have already shown."

And a third added: "Gorgeous boy. I bet you worked your socks off this week with this, and you will be amazing."

Fellow contestant Mike Bushell also hailed him as an "inspiration to many".

Earlier this week, Will revealed he'd struggled with confidence issues as a child due to his condition.

Will has achieved so much (Credit: SplashNews.com)

He told the Mirror: "I used to struggle with confidence a lot. Obviously when you've got a disability, you worry about how you look.

"It didn't break me down but kids can be quite cruel. They'd say: 'Why have you got weird hands?' or 'Why can't you walk properly?' When you're getting changed for PE, you don't want to show that you've got feet like mine."

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