LOSING a limb would normally be a devastating blow – but for Hampshire cricketer Rob Franks it has opened up an exciting new world.

Since his left leg was amputated ten months ago the 40-year-old sportsman has seen his life transformed in a way he never thought possible.

Rob has tried his hand at wingwalking, appeared in an episode of Casualty and started writing his autobiography, which he hopes will inspire others.

As reported in the Daily Echo, the former chef opted to have his leg amputated to escape the excruciating pain which was ruining his life.

Rob, head coach at Ellingham Cricket Club in the New Forest, said: “Since the operation things have taken a huge turn for the better.

“I can’t describe how happy I am – my life has effectively re-started.”

Rob’s privately-funded surgery ended a seven-year nightmare caused by a tumour in his left knee, nerve damage and a broken bone.

He said: “Three weeks after the operation I visited the naval museum in Portsmouth and saw a climbing wall.

“ I nudged my wife Carla and I jokingly said I should have a go.

“A woman standing next to us said I wouldn’t get anywhere, but I climbed the entire wall and abseiled down.

“At that point I knew anything was possible.

“Eight weeks after the amputation I was fitted with my new prosthetic leg and took to it so well and I was back playing cricket two weeks later.

“I did better than I had done for many years, which shows how much the pain I was in before was holding me back.

“I also registered with an acting agency for people with disabilities and was put forward for a role in Casualty.”

Rob, inset, who played a dead drug addict, added: “My wife and I watch Casualty every week and I’d always wanted to appear on the show.

“Rubbing shoulders with all the actors was pretty crazy.”

Rob, of Poole, celebrated his 40th birthday last year by wingwalking high above the Gloucestershire countryside.

He said: “It was such an adrenalin rush and something I’d never have thought possible.

“I was standing on top of a double-winged plane flying at 125mph – great fun.”

Now Rob has landed his “dream job” – a support and outreach worker helping homeless people as well as those with mental health issues.

In 2014 he broke his left leg playing cricket.

Surgeons repaired the break with pins, plates and a metal rod but Rob was left in constant agony and had to take a cocktail of painkillers.

Friends funded his £15,000 amputation after the NHS refused to pay for the life-changing surgery.