When Adam Hughes was diagnosed with chronic kidney failure in April 2013, he could have been forgiven for thinking his sporting career was over.

Instead, the former Carew FC player and manager was already planning his comeback.

And sure enough, after undergoing 10 hours of daily dialysis before a kidney transplant gave him a new lease of life in October 2014, he worked hard to regain his fitness, which included playing 5-a-side league for Gobaith Cymru FC (a south Wales transplant charity team).

He then went on to represent the Wales Transplant team and after impressing in a national tournament last year, the 31-year-old has been selected for the GB side that will play in the World Transplant Games at the Gateshead International Stadium in August.

Prior to that, he will play for Wales at the GB Transplant Games in Newport in July. 

 “I first read about the Transplant Games when I was on dialysis pre-transplant and straight away thought it was something I’d like to be involved in,” he told Telegraph Sport.

“Now four years on I am fortunate to have the opportunity to represent Wales at the GB Games this year before heading to the World Games with Team GB.”

And Adam, whose recovery included managing Carew to promotion from Division Two as champions back in the 2014/15 season, admits the difference in his physical capabilities since his transplant have been ‘unbelievable’.

“Before I’d be breathless with my heart pounding after walking a few metres, and I’d get cramp just sitting down. Even going for a gentle stroll again seemed like a dream.

“I’ve gone from that to being as fit as I’ve ever been. It’s unthinkable when you are on dialysis 10 hours a day that you will ever run half marathons or get back to playing football, but the transplant has allowed for all of this and more.”

Of course, he is not alone. Many a famous professional sportsman has undergone a similar ordeal – something Adam has drawn inspiration from.

“The obvious one is the great Jonah Lomu, who came back to play at the top level after his kidney transplant,” he said.

“But now there are so many role models out there. Andy Cole has spoken openly about his struggles post-transplant. There is Eric Abidal, who played in the Champions League final after a liver transplant and Aries Merritt, the Olympic gold medal hurdler who still competes.

“But mainly I am inspired by the people I meet when I go training sessions with Team GB or Wales Transplant teams. People who have all fought back from life or death situations to get where they are and who all love sport.”

And his gratitude for those have helped him get back to where he is now is clear.

“I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the kindness of my donor and their family.

“Also the teams at Morriston and the University Hospital of Wales who treated me before and after the transplant - they are real life heroes.

"And Carew Football Club then gave me the chance to manage the first team when I could no longer play and that gave me something to look forward too. It’s fantastic to see them doing so well now and I can’t wait to be at the Liberty Stadium to support them in the West Wales Cup final.

“But mainly I have to thank my family, friends and partner who have always been there through the tough times.”

Sadly, but perhaps inevitably, Transplant Sport don’t receive funding and athletes support their own expenditure. Team GB selection includes a registration fee of £425, kit at £325 and travel and accommodation costs. In addition there will be training sessions at Warwick University.
“It would be very sad if Adam was not able to take this wonderful opportunity due to lack of funds,” said his father John Hughes.

“Many people have said that they want to support Adam and a 'GoFundMe' page has been set up for this purpose.”

Anyone who would like to help can visit www.gofundme.com and search for ‘Adam John Hughes Transplant Sport’. All funds raised will be strictly used to support Adam's Transplant Sport expenses and any surplus raised will be donated to the Kidney Wales Charity.