Five people who show heroes come in all shapes and sizes 

Heroes walk among us - not the cape-wearing variety but the everyday, common-or-garden sort. They may not describe themselves as heroes but their acts of courage, selflessness and caring inspire us all and help make the world a better place.

When we picture heroes we may think of famous people from history or perhaps the men and women of our emergency services and military - but here are five normal people who remind us we might all have the potential to be superheroes.


Most parents of three-year-olds will be proud of their children but Patricia Hannington has more reason than most.

Patricia’s daughter Sofia Harman had been told what to do in the event of a medical emergency as her mother has a heart condition. And so when Patricia collapsed while decorating their Clacton home, quick-thinking Sofia pulled the phone from its charger and dialled 999.

The Essex Police call handler kept chatting with Sofia to try and identify where she lived. Thankfully the police were able to locate the pair and an ambulance was sent out in time to take Patricia to hospital for emergency treatment.

Essex Police call taker Julie Buckley said: “Sofia is the real hero. For a child of her age, it was amazing that she knew exactly what to do.”

A marathon effort

The most memorable image of the 2017 London Marathon was of a 29-year-old man from Swansea who gave up his bid for a personal best time to help a fellow runner who had collapsed within sight of the finishing line.

Matthew Rees helped an exhausted David Wyeth to complete the final 200 metres of the 26.2-mile race and became an instant headline-grabbing star.

He told interviewers: “I saw him try to stand up again and his legs just went down again, and I thought 'this is more important, getting him across the line is more important than shaving a few seconds off my time'.”

Super pup

Winner of the 2017 Animal Hero Awards, Baxter the Labrador puppy showed even our four-legged friends can display amazing understanding when it comes to reacting in a crisis.

Baxter saved the life of six-year-old Olivia Goodman who was choking after suffering a seizure. Olivia was lying on her sofa when she started vomiting while lying with her face against a pillow.

Her mother hadn’t realised she was choking but their nine-month-old pet dog began barking at the youngster’s side. Even when told to be quiet Baxter persisted and knocked the covers off Olivia revealing the suffocating child.

After a brief hospital stay Olivia made a full recovery thanks in no small part to the heroic actions of Baxter.

Have-a-go hero

When a gang of would-be jewellery thieves set about trying to smash a shop window in broad daylight they couldn’t have known they were about to be thwarted by a 71-year-old lady.

Ann Timson, who was dubbed ‘Supergran’ by the media, was infuriated when she saw a gang of moped-riding thugs try to smash the window of a Northampton jewellers with hammers. After running several yards to reach the group of thieves she began hitting them with her handbag until they fled empty-handed on their mopeds.

Video footage was captured of the incident propelling Mrs Timson to worldwide fame. She told the Northampton Chronicle and Echo newspaper: “I’m not a hero and it was maybe foolish of me to get involved but somebody had to do something.”

A friend indeed

When an out of control car with no driver mounted a pavement and sped towards two boys, 12-year-old Dylan Graves made a split-second decision to save his friend.

Dylan pushed James Yeadon out of the path of the speeding vehicle but was himself hit and fell underneath the car before being dragged along and finally trapped against a fence.

 The Bradford youngster, who received a 2016 Pride of Britain Award, for his courageous action, suffered back injuries, broken ribs and a fractured pelvis.

Afterwards he said: “The car was going quite fast and I had two seconds to react. I didn’t have time to think, I just pushed James out the way. He’s a lot smaller than me and he would have been killed if it had hit him.”

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