A Pembrokeshire police officer recovering from a horrific off-duty cycling accident is being encouraged on the road to recovery by the gift of a new bike.

Detective Sergeant Anthony Mattick spent three weeks in the Heath Hospital, Cardiff after suffering serious injuries in a collision on the A40 near Carmarthen.

Now recuperating at home in Pembrokeshire, Anthony was thrilled to receive a visit from a group of friends who had raised funds to buy him the bike of his dreams.

A childhood friend, Julian Taylor, spearheaded the campaign from Australia.

“I felt helpless being so far away,” said Julian, who still regularly visits Carmarthen.

“I discovered that many of his colleagues had already raised substantial funds for the air ambulance, which is a fantastic service, and no doubt played a big part in saving Anthony’s life.”

As Anthony had done so much for charities himself, Julian decided that it was time for his friend to benefit.

He contacted close friends and Anthony’s contacts on social media, with the result that donations were received from New Hedges to New Zealand.

The bike – a full carbon Cube Agree GTC – was tracked down in Mike’s Bikes, Haverfordwest, and was presented to Anthony on an evening shared by some of his school friends, including comedian Rhod Gilbert.

Anthony said he had been overwhelmed by all the good wishes, cards and gifts he had received since his accident.

He added: “Sometimes it takes something to happen for you to realise how blessed you are in life to have such good friends.”