A DEDICATED martial arts enthusiast has conquered a crippling childhood disorder to be crowned a world champion.

Black belt 2nd dan, Ryan Derbyshire, aged 18, of Eccleston, won a gold medal at the World Union of Karate junior championship in Brazil, which attracted 800 competitors.

It is remarkable feat for Ryan as he underwent major surgery when he was seven, after contracting Perthes disease, a degenerative childhood disorder of the hip.

His proud mum, Lynn, said: “He was out of action for two years, in a cast from his waist to his ankles for three months. It is a very rare disease. He couldn’t ride a bike or play football.

“Doctors said he would never have 100 per cent movement on his right hip. Yet, it has never held him back.From where he was to what he has achieved is incredible.

“I was 50 whilst we were in Brazil and this is the best birthday present I have ever had.”

She said his dad, Mike, aged 46, and sister, Kelly, aged 24, are thrilled to bits with his success.

Ryan started karate only six years ago because his cousin, Connor, then aged eight, wanted to try it.

Ryan, an IT student at St Helens College, said: “My cousin stayed for just a fortnight but I really enjoyed it.”

He trained twice a day to prepare for the world championship but never dreamt he would bring home a gold.

He said his friends will be stunned as they don’t even know he does karate.

Ryan beat Brazilian Bruno Eduardo S.Macena and English competitors, Jason Marquis and Don Thackray in the final.

Ryan, said: “I thought I would be nervous but I wasn’t. I just did my best. It is an honour to win gold. I felt proud on the podium as they played the national anthem.”

His coach, Phil Jones, aged 41, has been teaching Shito Ryu karate at the St Helens School of Karate, for 23 years.

He said: “I was ecstatic when Ryan won gold.

“He has the right mental attitude and is naturally gifted. He listens when I explain things and that mades all the difference.

“He is a great inspiration and now helps me train other children.”

Phil runs classes at Peter Street, St John’s, Haydock, Orrell, Ashton and Rainford.

Ryan now has his sights set on the European championships in Hungary next year